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" Historia, quoquo modo scripta delectat." Pliny. 

" Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas." Virgil. 

"II importe beaucoup de connaltre 1'histoire de la science & laquelle on 
s'attache. -loge de Botrhaave. 

"It is of great advantage to the student of any subject to read in the 
original memoirs on that subject, for science is always most completely 
assimilated when it is found in its nascent state. Every student of science 
should, in fact, be an antiquary in his subject."/. Clerk Maxwtlt. 

" Les tatonnements de nos predcesseurs nous apprennent & marcher avec 
plus de sdrete, et Ton ne sail jamais mieux conduire la science en avant que 
forsqu'on sail le chemin qu'elle a parcouru jusqu'a nous." J. P, JRossignol. 




[All rights 






\ I I \V \\ I ! KS 



Past President of the Institute of Electrical Engineers 
and late Director of the- National Physical Laboratory 

Tins splendid volume has a tragic story. Dedicated to Lord 
Kelvin, it opens with an introduction by Silvanus Thompson and 
a preface by the distinguished author who himself passed from us 
before the book containing- the fruit of many years of toil was ready 
for issue. 

And what toil ! A Bibliographical History of Klectricity and 
Magnetism covering 4458 years, from 26^7 u.c., when Iloang-Ti, 
Emperor of China, is said to have directed the pursuit of his troops 
after a rebellious subject by the aid of the compass, up to Christmas 
Day, A.D. 1821, when Faraday first caused a wire carrying a cur- 
rent to rotate in a magnetic field. 

The early centuries are passed over quickly. Homer's name 
occurs with quotations from the Odrsser : 

<: In wondums ships self-mov'd, instinct with mind, 
No helm secures their course, no pilot guides ; 
Like men intelligent, they plough the tides/' 

Does this mean that the Greeks knew of the compass? The 
author is doubtful. 


Thales, 600 5So BA\, the discoverer of frictional electricitv, 
follows. The Crusaders wrote of the magnet. A facsimile page is 
given of Vincent de Beauvais' Sfctnhiiii Natnralc, and Gauthier 
d'Kspinois, wlio lived about A.D. 1250, sang" to his mistress : 

"Tout autrcsi (ainsi) conime 1'aimant decjoit (detouinc) 
L'aij4iilctte pas forte dc vcrtu 
A ma cl.inic tot Ic niont (mondc) rclennuc 
Oui ba beaute connoit et apcnjoit." 

And \vhen one passes to more recent years, there is not a name 
one knows omitted from the list. There are also many included 
who all contributed in some way to the growth of natural know- 
ledge, but who can only be known to the few, the very few, who 
have burrowed in past records scattered far and wide with the 
perseverance, the patience, and the skill of Dr. Mottelay. 

And he has discovered interesting facts without number, and at 
the same time has supported his case with full references to 
original works. To the question, llow can \ find out what some 
unknown writer- has written about Electricity r* there can in 
future be but one answer: Look him up in Dr. Mottelay \s 
llibliogyaphical Historv. Our debt to the author is no small one ; 
our regrets that he is not here to be gratified by the reception his 
book must meet with are deep and sincere. 

The Great War delayed the issue of the book. The public arc 
indebted to Messrs. C. Griffin & Co., Ltd., for bringing out a work 
of the kind under the difficulties which all scientific publications 
have met with since JQiS, and Dr. Mottelay reali/ed to the full the 
value of the assistance they gave him. I trust with confidence 
that electricians throughout the world (for the interest of the book 
is world-wide) will not be slow to show their appreciation of the 
work of all those who have combined to render them so marked 
a service. 





THE present work is the definitive edition of my " Chronological 
History of Magnetism, Electricity and the Telegraph," which had 
tentative publication (1891-1892) serially in four leading techno- 
logical Journals, viz. " Engineering " of London, " The Electrical 
World " of New York, " La Lumiere Electrique " of Paris, and 
" L'lndustrie Moderne " of Brussels. 

Since the time of that first publication, it has received a most 
thorough revision of the original text, for correction of faults of form, 
or of substance, suggested by learned critics conversant with the 
history of electricity and magnetism; and there have been added 
a very large number of new entries besides exhaustive notices of 
the work done by Peregrinus, Gilbert, Oersted, Faraday and 
other great pathfinders, also biographical and bibliographical notices 
of all the prominent ancient writers mentioned in the original 

This bibliography commences B.C. 2637 conclusively shown to 
be the earliest date at which history notes anything resembling the 
application of the magnetic influence and it ends with Michael 
Faraday, esteemed by Tyndall to be " the greatest experimental 
philosopher the world has ever seen/' and who is held " to 
have done more for the development of electrical science than 
any other investigator." Thus is the chronological series shown 
to cover 4458 years, being purposely made to terminate at A.D. 
1820-1821 (Oersted, Ampe-re, Arago, Faraday, etc.), the culminat- 
ing period when, through the splendid discovery of electro- 
magnetism, the two immense groups of phenomena were first 
linked together. 

Besides the matter distinctly involved in the title of the new 
work, it has been deemed advisable to note in this History all the 
most important forms of the optical telegraph, or semeiograph. 
Many of the ancient and historical methods for communicating 
intelligence swiftly at great distances are noticed in their chrono- 
logical order : doubtless, this will prove to the generality of readers 
no less interesting than the vast multitude of curious facts pertaining 
to the direct line of researches. An exhaustive cross-entry Index 



of Selected Names and Subjects, embracing fuller titles and much 
additional data that could not well be entered into the body of 
the work, will, for the first time, make this mass of historical data 
readily accessible. 

To bar controversies and partisan discussion as to the relative 
merits of different discoverers and inventors, concerning which 
authorities are at variance, it has been thought best to quote all 
of the weightiest known authorities under the respective heads 
and dates of the several claimants. To the would-be historian 
and to the delving student, this will certainly appear the better 
course. A case in point, and it is no uncommon one, attaches to 
the invention of the mariner's compass, where that instrument 
and its original employment in navigation are credited with equal 
assurance to China, Iceland, France, England and Italy, by equally 
eminent historians and scientists. And, as nearly all, except 
the very earliest, discoveries of any high importance have already 
been traced to their respective origins by many authors, additional 
data have been gathered and quoted wherever such data seemed 
deserving of more than the ordinary notices previously accorded 
them in print, or where the peculiar nature of the discovery, or 
the identity of its author, merited authentication to preclude doubt 
or controversy. 

The imusual number of cumulative references purposely given 
throughout many entries (the most important of which were origin- 
ally set in italics) cannot be seriously objected to, as they afford ready 
means for making searches through different accessible channels, 
covering various phases of a subject, and they facilitate the veri- 
fication of all extracts and of all quoted passages. They likewise 
effectually offset the likelihood of misprints necessarily attaching 
to many of the authorities which are cited from, and which often 
can be found solely in, rare early publications or in more or less 
unintelligible manuscripts. Only those who have had to make 
important searches through such can appreciate the difficulties 
which continually beset the investigator. Many of "the older 
serials likewise prove quite unreliable and disappointing, either 
through wrong pagination or irregular and sometimes conflicting 
dates of publication, as well as through the rearrangement or 
redistribution of parts or series, at various periods and in different 
volumes. This is the case, more particularly, with " Le Journal 
des Savants " and with " The Philosophical Transactions/' as it 
is also with many technical serial publications of various countries 
which are referred to in the following pages, 

In the Preface to his " Experimental Researches/ 1 the great 


Faraday justly remarked that : " The date of a scientific paper 
containing any pretensions to discovery is frequently a matter of 
serious importance, and it is a great misfortune that there are 
many most valuable communications, essential to the history and 
progress of science, with respect to which this point cannot now be 
ascertained. This arises from the circumstance of the papers 
having no dates attached to them individually, and of the Journals 
in which they appear having such as are inaccurate, i. e. dates of 
a period earlier than that of publication." 

Of the aforenamed serials, the very important " Philosophical 
Transactions " have doubtless been most frequently alluded to 
herein, both in their original and abridged forms, and, for that 
reason, the assistance of representatives of the Royal Society has 
been sought in order to give a proper account to date, showing 
the difficulties which have throughout been encountered by its 
many successive editors. It will be seen, at pages 546-547, that 
there were numerous irregularities in the publication of the un- 
abridged series from the initial date of 1665, only seven numbers 
having been issued from 1679 to 1682, whilst neither numbers nor 
volumes appeared between 1688 and 1690, and that, through lax 
editing, various numbers were often, during subsequent years, 
assigned to volumes differently designated. In the many abridged 
reports, irregularities are still greater, as shown at pages 547-548. 
During 1721, Motte edited " an abridgment, 1700-1720, in three 
volumes which was very incorrect " (" Diet. Nat. Biog.," Vol. XXXIX. 
p. 194). The six volumes of 1720-1732 also appeared in two 
volumes, published 1733. The two volumes of 1719-1733 con- 
tained an " Index to the previous seven volumes " by different 
authors. This was made up by John Martyn, who published in 
five volumes an abridgment of the Transactions for 1719-1750, 
which he had previously issued in three sets of two volumes each. 
Mr. Samuel H. Scudder's remarks as to various discrepancies are 
worthy of notice. He says (" Cat. of Scient. Serials/' 1879, P- 2 7) 
that " the Philosophical Transactions Abridged have been very 
irregularly issued. The first five volumes went through several 
editions. (from five to two, according to the volume) between 1705 
and 1781; the later volumes through only one, 1734-1756." He 
adds : " There is a strange discrepancy here, the fourth edition of 
the first volume being sometimes dated 1731, sometimes 1781, 
and sometimes 1782, whilst the fifth edition of volumes one to three is 
dated 1749; the eighth volume is again sometimes dated 1734, 
sometimes 1747." 

Were I to indite an apologia for the present work, I could not 


hope to express it more happily than does Mr. J. J. Fahie in the 
preface to his " History of Wireless Telegraphy, 1838-1899 " ; or, 
I might adopt the words of two of the most learned French authors 
of the day : 

" Si je donne ces details, nouveaux, ou peu connus, c'est qu'il 
est toujours int6ressant de remonter & Torigine et au developpement 
successifdes inventions. 1 ' (M. Berthelot, in the " Comptes Rendus.") 

" S'il n'y a pas beaucoup de gens qu'elles intressent, il y en a 
qu'elles intressent beaucoup. A ceux-ci, nous avons, en r6di- 
geant ces notes, eu I'intention et l'esprance de venir quelquefois 
en aide. Tout catalogue a des points obscurs, mme les meilleurs. 
. . . L'office propre, le devoir de la critique, est de rechercher si 
ces points obscurs ne pourraient pas tre eclaires par quelque 
lumifire. II est vrai qu'elle y perd sou vent sa peine. Mais cela 
ne doit jamais la dcourager." (M. Haureau, in " Le Journal des 

I am especially thankful for the warm encouragement which 
I have received, on all sides, since the original work appeared in 
serial form. This History has been frequently called for, and I 
regret that I have been hitherto prevented from bringing it out 
earlier in its present desirable book form. This is the more to be 
regretted as it long ago received the practical endorsement of the 
doyen of the electrical profession, Lord Kelvin (formerly styled 
Sir William Thomson), to whom it is dedicated. Leave to do this 
was obtained through a mutual friend in such a cordial manner 
that I cannot refrain from giving the correspondence attaching 
thereto : 

Westminster Chambers, 

London, S.W., 

January 4, 1894. 


" I duly received yours of the 2ist . . . but the point 
on which I feel guilty is your dedication. ... I have now started 
the matter by writing to Lord Kelvin fully on the subject, and I 
hope, within a week, to get his reply, which I shall at once send 
to you he cannot possibly wish to decline the honour. . . . 

" I remain, 

" Yours very truly, 



Westminster Chambers, 

London, S.W., 

January 13, 1894. 


" Lord Kelvin's letter is so nice a one that I send you the 
original, otherwise I should have liked it as an autograph for rny 
library. I shall be glad to hear that it has duly reached you. . . . 

" Yours very truly, 

The University, 

January n, 1894. 


" Your letter of the 4th should have been answered sooner, 
but for my absence from home at the time it came. 

" Will you tell Mr. Mottelay that I shall feel honoured by his 
dedicating his " Chronological History of Electricity and Mag- 
netism " to me, and express to him my thanks for his kind proposal 
to do so. 

" Yours very truly, 


I desire to record my great indebtedness to Dr. Silvanus P. 
Thompson, D.Sc., F.R.S., for the interest he has throughout mani- 
fested in, and the material aid he has given to, the improvement 
and development of the present work. Especial acknowledgment 
is made of Dr. Thompson's personal revision of the articles on 
Petrus Peregrinus (at A.D. 1269), on William Gilbert (at A.D. 1600), 
and on Michael Faraday (at A.D. 1821). With all of these authors, 
he has become very prominently identified through the several 
special publications concerning them, which have been issued by 
him at different periods, and all of which are herein noticed in 
their proper order. 

Thanks are likewise due, and are also by me hereby tendered, 
more particularly to Dr. Elihu Thomson, of the Massachusetts 
Institute of Technology; to Dr. J. A. Fleming, M.A., F.R.S. ; to 
Mr. W. D. Weaver, late Editor of the " Electrical World " ; to 
Mr, Wm. J. Hammer, representative of Mr. Thomas A. Edison; 
to Mr. A. Hastings White, assistant-librarian, Royal Society, 
London; to Messrs. Charles Spon and Louis H. Walter, M.A. ; 
to Messieurs Henri Omont, Bibliothdque Nationale; Paul Marais, 
Bibliothque Mazarine; Henri Martin, BibliothSque de 1' Arsenal; 


Am&le'e Boinet, Biblioth&que Ste. Genevi&ve ; Messieurs Plon Nourrit 
et Cie ; as well as to Professors C. F. Bracket!, William Hallock and 
Edward L. Nichols, of the Universities of Princeton, Columbia 
and Cornell; also to Sir Arthur Schuster, Sir Edwin Durning- 
Lawrence, Dr. Robert L. Mond, and Dr. Horace F. Parshall, for 
many valuable suggestions and other aid given by all of them at 
different periods to the material benefit of this compilation. 

It is scarcely necessary adding that, notwithstanding the great 
care given to the preparation of this very extensive Bibliography, 
and to its difficult " proof " reading, errors will undoubtedly 
present themselves. It is, however, hoped these will not prove of 
material importance. Such mistakes as are of a typographical 
nature can easily be recognized and in due time remedied; those, 
however, resulting from the conflict of authorities are more difficult 
to trace, and I shall greatly appreciate their being pointed out to 
me, with the view to improving future editions. 



ANYONE who enters on the perilous paths of Bibliography realizes, 
sooner or later, the truth that " of the making of books there is no 
end" But there was a beginning : and if the Bibliography of 
Electricity promises to stretch onward into the future in endless 
line, at least its backward reach might seem to be finite in date. 
Nevertheless, the student of the early periods of book production, 
when the science of electricity was literally in that " infancy " from 
which in our time it has emerged, is continually finding that there 
are early works of which he was unaware, and of which even our best 
libraries are destitute. He finds, as he progresses backward, toward 
the origins of things, in how many points our ancestors in the domain 
of electric science had anticipated the discoveries of later date. He 
finds that, again and again, by some rare stroke of insight, the great 
minds that had devoted themselves to the research of phenomena 
had seen it may be, with dim or imperfect glimpses many of the 
things which are commonly regarded as quite modern. The pioneer, 
unbiased by the views of contemporary philosophers, unhampered 
by the load of textbook tradition, often sees further than the pro- 
fessed researcher who comes after him. 

The art of scientific discovery for it is an art can be attained in 
but one way, the way of attainment in all arts, namely, by practising 
it. In the practice of art, the aspirant may at least learn something 
that all the textbooks cannot drill out of him, and which will help 
him in his practice, by the careful examination of the actual ways 
in which the discoveries of science, now facts of history, were actually 
made. But, to do this, he must throw overboard for a time the 
systematic textbooks, he must abandon the logical expositions which 
embody, at second hand, or at third hand, the antecedent dis- 
coveries, and he must go to the original sources, the writings and 
records of the discoverers themselves, and learn from them how they 
set to work. The modern compendious handbooks in which the 
results of hundreds of workers have been boiled down, as it were, 
to a uniform consistency, is exactly the intellectual pabulum which 
he must eschew. Let him read Faraday, not through the eyes of 
Maxwell or of Tyndall, but in his own words in the immortal pages of 
the " Experimental Researches," with their wealth of petty detail 


and their apparent vagueness of speculation. Let him read Ohm's 
own account of the law of the circuit, not some modern watered-down 
version. Let him turn over the pages of Franklin's letters to Collin- 
son, as his observations dropped red-hot out of the crucible of his 
endeavours. Let him read Stephen Gray's charming experiments 
in the old-world diction that befitted a pensioner of the Charter- 
house. Let him go back to old Gilbert, who had talked with Drake 
and Sir Walter Raleigh in the flesh, who had discussed magnetism 
with Fra Paolo Sarpi and had experimented on the dip of the needle 
with Robert Norman. Gilbert's account of his own experiments is 
for the would-be scientific discoverer worth a hundredfold the 
Novum Organon of the overpraised Francis Bacon. Nay, let him 
go back to Peter Peregrinus, the soldier-pioneer, and see how he 
experimented with floating lodestones before he penned his account 
of the pivoted magnet the earliest known instrument that can 
rightly be called a mariner's compass. Not until he has thus become 
a bit of an antiquary will be have fully understood how the dis- 
coveries of old were made. And, in precisely the same spirit of 
quest, though with the wealth of modern appliances at his command, 
must he go to work, if new discoveries are to be made by him. 

But, for all this, he needs a guide to tell him what are the records 
of the original pioneers, by what names their works are called, and 
where they can be found. Such a guide doubtless exists to some 
extent in the mere catalogues of electrical literature, such as the 
catalogue of the Ronalds 1 Library at the Institution of Electrical 
Engineers, in London; or, more fully, even, in the new Catalogue of 
the Latimer Clark Library, now known as the Wheeler Collection, at 
the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, in New York. The 
Chronological History of Electricity which Mr. P. F. Mottelay 
contributed, week by week, to the columns of the " Electrical World " 
and of " Engineering " in the years 1891-1892, was the beginning of 
an attempt to provide an even more complete analysis of the earlier 
literature of the subject. But these are only the beginnings. 

In the "Bibliographical History of Electricity and Magnetism," 
which Mr. Mottelay is now giving to the world, a far more exhaustive 
and detailed account is rendered of the earlier workers and writers 
in our dual science. He has particularly worked up all important 
electrical channels, and in the more extended articles, some of which 
it has been the writer 's privilege to peruse in advance, there are 
presented valuable monographs dealing with particular workers who 
each in his own day made notable contributions to the advance of 
the science. 

To all who would tread in their paths, and add something to the 


ever-widening domain of electrical discovery, this Bibliographical 
History may be commended, not only for what it contains, but for 
the appreciative spirit in which it brings before the reader the work 
of those men who made the science what it is. 
Pioneers ; O Pioneers ! 





PREFACE < vii 



CHRONOLOGICAL SECTION, B.C. 2637 TO A.D. 1821 . . . . I 













UP TO 1800 . 553 






ST. AUGUSTINE Frontispiece 

" La Cite" de Dieu, translated et expose'e par Raoul de Presles." Taken 
from the manuscript in the Musec de Chantilly, by permission of the 
executors of Monsieur le Due d'Aumale. 

Facing page 


Page taken from the earliest known edition of the " Naturalis Historiae " 
Venetiis, 1469, of which there are only three known original vellum copies. 
These now are at Vienna, Ravenna and in the Bibliotheque Sainte 
Genevieve, Paris. 


" De Natural! Auscultatione." Title-page of the Paris 1542 edition. This 
belonged to Dr. William Gilberd, when at Cambridge, and is inscribed 
with his name and with that of Archdeacon Thomas Drant. (From the 
library of the late Silvanus P. Thompson). 


"La Bible." Page 93 verso of MS. Fr., No. 25405, Vaiiorum Pocmata, in 
the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. 


"Speculum Naturale." Page taken from the (Argentorati) '1473 issue, la 
premiere edition et la plus rare de tontes. In the Bibliotheque Sainte Genevieve, 


" Li Livres dou Tremor." Page taken from the XVth Century MS. 
(originally copied by Jean du Quesne), No. 191, Trhor de Sapience, in the 
Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. 


" La Divina Commedia/' Mantuae 1472, the first page of what is by many 
regarded as the oldest edition of the earliest known poem written in the 
Italian language. Now in the Bibliotheque Sainte Genevieve, Paris. 


"Epistola . . . de Magnete." The earliest known treatise of experimental 
science. Original photographic reproduction of first page of the almost 
illegible MS. No. 7378 A ; page 67 recto (embraced in a geometrical 
treatise), now in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. 


Facsimile of Bodleian MS., No. 7027 (MS. Ashmole No. 1522), folio 186 
verso, being Chap. II, Part II, of the " Epistola . . . de Magnete," wherein 
is described the earliest known pivoted compass, 





Photographic reproduction of his letter, March 21, 1502, to Ntcolo Oderigo, 
Ambassador to France and to Spain, which was acquired by the King of 
Sardinia and presented by him to the city of Genoa. It is now preserved 
in the Palace of the Genoese Municipality. 


Translation of the letter written by him to Nicolo Oderigo, shown here 
on opposite plate ; made into English by Mr. Geo. A. Barwick, B.A., of 
the British Museum. Permission to copy both the original letter and its 
translation was given by Messrs. B. F. Stevens and Brown, London. 


Last page of the earliest known edition of his " Acerba," Venetia, 1476. 
Printed nineteen times up to and including the edition of 1546. Now in 
the Bibliotheque Sainte Genevieve, Paris. 


" De Divinis Institutionibus." Page taken from the Sublacensi 1465 
edition, called by Joannis Vogt inter rariora typographiae incunabula rarissi- 
nmm. In the Bibliotheque Sainte Genevieve, Paris. 


"Traitte que le docteur P. Nunes fit sur certaines doubles de la Naviga- 
tion." Page 9 verso of MS. Fr. No. 1338, now in the Bibliotheque 
Nationale, Paris. 


FROM B.C. 2637 TO A.D. 1821 

B.C. 2637. This date has been conclusively shown to be the 
earliest one at which history notes anything resembling the appli- 
cation of the magnetic influence. It is related that, during this 
sixty-first year of the reign of Hoang-ti (Yeou-hioung-che, also 
named Koung-fun and Hiuen-yuen) , the emperor's troops, who 
were pursuing the rebellious prince Tcheyeou (Tchi-yeou), lost 
their way, as well as the course of the wind, and likewise the sight 
of their enemy, during the heavy fogs prevailing in the plains of 
Tchou-lou. Seeing which, Hoang-ti constructed a chariot upon 
which stood erect a prominent female figure which indicated the 
four cardinal points, and which always turned to the south what- 
ever might be the direction taken by the chariot. Thus he succeeded 
in capturing the rebellious prince, who was put to death. 

Some say that upo,] this chariot stood a needle, to denote the 
four parts of the world. That, states the French author writing 
in 1736, would " indicate the use of the compass, or something very 
similar to it ... and it is unfortunate that the device has not been 
explained more fully." 

REFERENCES. Du Halde, " Description de la Chine . . .," La Haye, 
r 736. Vol. I. pp. 270-271; B.C. 2634, Klaproth, " Boussole," pp. 33, 34, 
71, 74, 76, 79, 82; Azuni, " Boussole," Paris, 1809, pp. 186, 214; Staun- 
ton's " China," London, 1797, Vol. I. p. 446; " Encycl. Metrop.," Vol. III. 
p. 736; Buffon, " LaTerre," Vol. I. p. 304; Davis, " The Chinese," 1844, 
Vol. HI. p. 14; Humboldt, " Cosmos," 1848, Vol. V. p. 51, for Ed. Biot 
in Comptes Rendus, Vol. XIX. 1844, p. 822 ; Dr. A. T. Thompson, transla- 
tion of Salverte's " Philosophy of Magic," 1847, Vol. II. chap. xi. p. 222 
(note), wherein he alludes to Davies' " Early History of the Mariner's 
Compass"; " British Annual," 1837; Saillant et Nyon, " Mmoires 
concernant 1'Histoire," Paris, 1788, Vol. XIII. pp. 234-235, giving 
chronological tables of the history of China, also p. 227 relative to Hoang- 
ti; P. Etienne Souciet, " Observations," Paris, 1732, Vol. II. pp. 94-95. 

Hoang-ti (Hoang, supreme king), third in the " Period of the 
Five Emperors " (Claude Aug, " Nouveau Larousse," Vol. V. 
p. 134), regarded as the founder of the Chinese Empire, died at the 
age of 121, after reigning 100 years, B.C. 2598. Mailla (Joseph 



A. M, de Moyriac de) in his " Histoire . . . traduite du Thoung- 
Kian-Kang-Mou," Paris, 1777, Vol. I. p, 28, makes the latter date 
2599, as do likewise, Dr. Hcefer (" Nouvelle Biographic Ge*ne*rale," 
Paris, 1858, Vol. XXIV. pp. 817-819) and Pierre Larousse (" Grand 
Diet, du XIX C Siecle," 1873, Vol. IX. p. 317), but Michaud (" Biogr. 
Univer.," 1857, Vol. XIX. pp. 476-477) says he reigned from 2698 
to 2577 B.C., and, in " La Grande Encyclop.," Vol. XX. pp. 157- 
158, we are told that the correct period is 2697-2597 B.C. (" L'art 
de verifier les dates/ 1 Paris, 1819, Vol. IV. p. 8). 

The above-named work of Jean Baptiste Du Halde on China is 
considered the most complete account of that vast empire that has 
appeared in Europe (" New Gen. Biogr. Diet./' London, 1850, 
Vol. VIII. p. 175). In any case, remarks Mr. Demetrius C. Boulger 
(" History of China/' London, 1881, Vol. I. pp. 4-5), it is incon- 
testable that the individuality of Hoang-ti, who was the successor 
of " Fo-hi," the first great Chinese emperor, is much more tangible 
than that of any of his predecessors. 1 By him, it is well recorded 
that the extensive Chinese territory (Empire) was divided into ten 
provinces, or Chow, each of which was subdivided into ten depart- 
ments, or Tsee, and these again into ten districts, or Tou, each of 
them containing ten towns, or Ye. 

1 Touching the antiquity of the Chinese nation, the distinguished French 
author, J. P. Pauthier (" Chine," Paris, 1839, pp. 20, 27), thus expresses 
himself : " Son histoire authentique qu'elle fait remonter avec ce characte"re 
de certitude, jusqu' a la 6i annec du rdgne de Hoang-ti, la premiere de leur 
premier cycle, 2637 ans avant notre &re. . . . Le cycle de 60 anne*es dont 
les series se suivent depuis la 6i e anne*e du r6gne de Hoang-ti, sans interruption 
et avec autant de r6gularit6 que les siecles dans les computs Europeans." And 
Saillant et Nyon (" Mmoires concernant 1'histoire," Vol. XIII. p. 76) add con- 
clusively : " JDepuis Tanned courante (1769) jusqu' a la 2637* avant Tdre Chre"ti- 
enne, qui r6pond exactement a la 6i fl du rdgne de Hoang-ti, on peut sans 
crainte de s'egarer, suivre un des plus beaux sentiers de I'histoire, pendant 
1'espace de 4406 ans." 

Incidentally, we may add that in his " History of Chaldea," New York, 
1866, pp. 195, 213, 364, Mr. Z. A. Ragozin says that that country can point 
to a monumentally recorded date nearly 4000 B.C. more than Egypt can 
do and he says, furthermore, " we cannot possibly accept a date later than 
4000 B.C. for the foreign immigration, and, for the Shumiro-Accadian culture, 
less than 1000 years, thus taking us as far back as 5000 B.C. The date of 
3750 B.C. is that of Naram-Sin, and 3800 B.C. is now generally accepted for 
Sargon of Agad perhaps the remotest authentic date yet arrived at in history. 
To such as are inclined to doubt the authenticity of these early dates, as 
well as the truthfulness of " the mensuration of divine periods," and of " the 
observations of celestial bodies throughout the whole of time," it will be 
interesting to note the following, taken from the Greek " lamblichus " 
translation of Thomas Taylor, Chiswick, 1821, p. 318 : " Proclus (in Tim., 
lib. iv. p. 277) informs us that the Chaldeans had observations of the stars 
which embraced whole mundane periods . . . likewise confirmed by Cicero, 
who says (in his first book on Divination) that they had records of the stars 
for the space of 370,000 years, and by Diodorus Siculus (' Bibl./ lib. xi. 
p. 118), who states that their observations comprehended the space of 473,000 
years 1 " 


B.C. 1110. Tcheou-Koung is said to have at this date taught 
the use of the needle compass to the envoys from Youa-tchang. 
" As the ambassadors sent from Cochin China and Tonquin " 
(Humboldt, " Cosmos/ 1 Vol. V. p. 51) " were about to take their 
departure " (which was in the twenty-second cycle, more than 
1040 years B.C.), " Tcheou-Koung gave them an instrument which 
upon one side always turned toward the north and on the opposite 
side to the south, the better to direct them upon their homeward 
voyage. 1 This instrument was called tchi-nan (chariot of the south), 
and it is still the name given to the compass, which leads to the 
belief that Tcheou-Koung invented the latter." In his chapter 
on " The Magnetic Needle/' Humboldt says the apparatus was 
called fse-nan (indicator of the south). 

Tcheou-Koung (Ki-tan) was Chinese Minister of State under 
both Von-Vang (the first emperor of the Tcheou dynasty, who 
ruled seven years) and Tsching-Vang (second emperor, who ruled 
thirty-seven years), and lived to be 100 years old. He was one 
of the most learned and most popular men China has ever known, 
and is spoken of to this day by the Chinese " with an admiration 
bordering upon enthusiasm " (Saillant et Nyon, " Memoires con- 
cernant I'Histoire," Paris, 1776, Vol. III. p. 37). The emperor 
Tsching-Vang caused Tcheou-Koung's body to be interred near his 
father's remains, after giving it imperial funeral honours. 

REFERENCES. Du Halde, " Description de la Chine . . ./'La Haye, 
1736, Vol. I. p. 312; Klaproth, " Boussole," p. 81 ; Azuni, " Bous- 
sole,' 1 pp. 190-191; Humboldt, "Cosmos," London, 1849, Vol. II. p. 
628, and Vol. V. p. 52. 

B.C. 1084. According to ^Eschylus, the father of the Athenian 
drama, Agamemnon employed a line of optical signals to advise his 
queen Clytemnestra of the fall of Troy. Robert Browning's 
translation, London, 1877, runs as follows : 

" Troia, the Achaioi hold. . . . 
Hephaistos sending a bright blaze from Id6 
Beacon did beacon send, from fire the poster, 
Hitherward : Id to the rock Hermaian 
Of Lemnos : and a third great torch o* the island 
Zeus' seat received in turn, the Athoan summit. 
And so upsoaring as to stride sea over, 
The strong lamp-voyager, and all for joyance 
Did the gold-glorious splendor, any sun like, 
Pass on ..." 

1 " Le monument le plus ancien (de pierre scupt&j) signale" par le King- 
che-so pprte sur une facade cette scdne d histoire : ' Tcheou-Choung, regent 
de Tempire pendant la minorite" de son neveu Tching-Ouang (mo av. J. C.) 
recoit les envois du roi des Yue-tchang-che. . . . Les anciens auteurs Chinoia 
rapportent que ces ambassadeurs offrirent a la cour de Chine des e'le'phants 
ct des faisans blancs et que pour leur retour Tcheou-Koung leur fit present 
de chars qui montraient le sud.' " (" L'art Chinois," par M. Paltologue, 
Paris, 1888, pp. 132-134; J. P. Pauthier, "Chine," p. 87.) 


Anna Swanwick thus renders ^Eschylus' " Agamemnon/ 1 London, 
1881, p. 13 : 

" For Priam's city have the Ar gives won. 

Hephaeslos sending forth Idaian fire. 

Hither through swift relays of courier flame. ..." 

At page 193 of his " Agamemnon," London, 1873, E. H. Plumptre 
refers to the system of posts or messengers which the Persian kings 
seem to have been first to organize, and which impressed the minds 
of both the Hebrews (Esther viii. 14) and the Greeks (Herod., viii. 98) 
by their regular transmission of the king's edicts or of special news. 

What of the passage from the celebrated patriarch Job (xxxviii. 
35) : " Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go, and say unto 
thee, ' Here we are ? ' " (original Hebrew, " Behold us "). As has 
been remarked, this seems prophetic, when taken in connection 
with the electric telegraph. 

The fire beacons are also alluded to by Plutarch in his Life of 
Quintus Sertorius ; and Mardonius prepared fire signals to notify 
Xerxes, then at Sardis, of the second taking of Athens. 

REFERENCES. " Le Theatre dcs Grccs," P. Brumoy, Paris, 1820, 
Vol.11, pp. 124-125; "Penny Encyc.," Vol. XXIV. p. 145; Knight's 
" Mechan. Diet.," Vol. III. p. 2092. 

For a decidedly original explanation of the beacon fires, read 
the introduction to " The Agamemnon of ^Eschylus," translated by 
A. W. Verrall, Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, England. 
See, likewise, reference to Act of Scottish Parliament, 1455, c. 48, 
made by Walter Scott in a note to his " Lay of the Last Minstrel " ; 
" Archeologia," London, 1770, Vol. I. pp. 1-7. 

B.C. 1068. In the obscure age of Codrus, the seventeenth and 
last king of Athens, at about the period of the " Return of the 
Heraclidae " (descendants of Heracles Hercules) to the Pelopon- 
nesus, the Chinese had magnetic carriages, upon which the movable 
arm of the figure of a man continually pointed to the south, and 
which it is said served as a guide by which to find the way across 
the boundless grass plains of Tartary. Humboldt states, besides, 
that, even in the third century of our era, Chinese vessels navigated 
the Indian Ocean under the direction of magnetic needles pointing 
to the south, and that, at pages xxxviii-xlii, Vol. I. of his " Asie 
Centrale," he has shown what advantages this means of topo- 
graphical direction, as well as the early knowledge and application 
of the magnetic needle, gave the Chinese geographers over the 
Greeks and Romans, to whom, for instance, even the true direction 
of the Pyrenees and the Apennines always remained unknown. 

REFERENCES. Humboldt, " Cosmos," London, 1849, Vol. I. p. 173, 
also his " Examen Critique de 1'histoire de la Geographic," Vol. III. 


p. 36; " Moeurs de Reg. Athen.," lib. iii. cap. xi. For Codrus and the 
Heraclidae, consult : Chambers' " Encycl.," 1889, Vol. III. p. 329 and 
Vol. V. 1890, p. 657; "Encycl. Britan.," gth ed., Edinburgh, Vol. VI. 
p. 107 and Vol. XI. p. 92; Hoefer, "Nouv. Biog. Ge"n,," Vol. XI. p. 29. 

B.C. 1033-975. Solomon, King of Israel, son of King David 
and of Bathsheba, who, " in the Jewish scriptures, has the first 
place assigned to him among the wise men of the East," is believed 
by many to have known the use of the compass. The Spanish 
Jesuit Pineda and Athanasius Kircher assert the same, and state 
that Solomon's subjects employed it in their navigations. Others, 
notably Fuller, " Miscel.," iv. cap. 19, and Levinus Lemnius, " De 
Occulta Naturae Miracula," lib. iii, have even tried to prove that 
Solomon was the inventor of the compass, and that it was in hif 
time used by the Syrians, Sidonians and Phoenicians, but the 
contrary has been shown by Henricus Kippingius in his " Antiq. 
Rom. de exped. Mar./' lib. iii. cap. 6, as well as by Bochart, the 
geographer, in his " Geo. Sacr., 1 ' lib. i. cap. 38. 

REFERENCES. Venanson, " Bonssole," Naples, 1808, p. 34; Enfield, 
" History of Philosophy," London, 1819, Vol. I. p. 40; Cavallo, " Mag- 
netism," 1787, p. 48; Ronalds' " Catal.," 1880, articles " Hirt " and 
" Michaelis," pp. 246, 344. 

B.C. 1022. At this period the Chinese magnetic cars held a 
floating needle, the motions of which were communicated to the 
figure of a spirit whose outstretched hand always indicated the 
south. An account of these cars is given in the " Szuki " (Shi-ki), 
or " Historical Memoirs of Szu-ma-thsian " (Szu-matsien) , which 
were written early in the second century B.C., and are justly con- 
sidered the greatest of all Chinese historical works, containing, as 
they do, the history of China from the beginning of the empire to the 
reign of Hiao-wou-ti, of the Han dynasty. 

REFERENCES. " Lcs peuplcs Orientaux," L6on dc Rosny, Paris, 
1886, pp. 10, 168, 240; Johnson's "Encyclopaedia," Vol. I. p. 929; 
Humboldt, "Cosmos," Vol. II. 1849, p. 628; Klaproth, " Boussole," 
1834, p. 79, for further allusion to a passage in the Thoung-Kian- 
Kang-Mou, already referred to under date B.C. 2637. 

B.C. 1000-907. -Homer, the greatest of epic poets, called the 
father of Greek poetry, and who, according to Enfield (" History 
of Philosophy," Vol. I. p. 133), flourished before any other poet 
whose writings arc extant, relates that the loadstone was used by 
the Greeks to direct navigation at the time of the siege of Troy. 

The latter construction has been placed upon several passages 
in Homer, the most important being found in Book VIII of the 
" Odyssey." 

As this appears to be the first attributed allusion to the compass, 
it is deemed worth while to give herein several interpretations of the 
original Greek. The selections made are as follows : 


" In wond'rous ships, self-mov'd, instinct with mind ; 
No helm secures their course, no pilot guides; 
Like man intelligent, they plough the tides, 

Though clouds and darkness veil th' encumbered sky, 
Fearless thro' darkness and thro 1 clouds they fly." 

Alexander Pope, "The Odyssey of Homer," London, 1818, 
P- 135- 

" . . . ; for here 
Tn our Phaeacian ships no pilots are, 
Nor rudders, as in ships of other lands. 
Ours know the thoughts and the intents of men. 
To them all cities and all fertile coasts 
Inhabited by men arc known ; they cross 
The great sea scudding fast, involved in mist 
And darkness, with no fear of perishing 
Or meeting harm." 

Wm. Cullen Bryant, "The Odyssey of Homer," Boston, 1875, 
Vol. I. p. 174. 

" For unto us no pilots appertain, 
Rudder nor helm which other barks obey. 
These ruled by reason, their own course essay 
Sparing men's mind . . . 
Sail in a fearless scorn of scathe or overthrow." 

Philip Stanhope Worsley, " The Odyssey of Homer," London, 
1861, Vol. I. p. 198. 

" For all unlike the ships of other men, 
Nor helm nor steersman have our country's barks, 
But of themselves they know the thoughts of men; 
. . . and wrapped in gloom and mist 
O'er the broad ocean gulfs they hold their course 
Fearless of loss and shipwreck . . ." 

Earl of Carnarvon, " The Odyssey of Homer," London, 1886, 
p. 201. 

" These marvellous ships, endued with human sense, and anticipating 
the will of their masters, flit unseen over the sea." " Homer's Odyssey," by 
W. W. Merry and James Riddell, Oxford, 1886, Vol. I. p. 353, note. 

" That our ships in their minds may know it when they bring thce hither 

to hand, 

Because amidst us Pha^acians, our ships no helmsmen steer, 
Nor with us is any rudder like other ships must bear, 
But our keels know the minds of menfolk, and their will they understand, 

And therewith exceeding swiftly over the sea-gulf do they go, 
In the mist and the cloud-rack hidden . . ." 

"The Odyssey of Homer," translated by Wm. Morris, Lon^ 
don, 1887, p. 145. 

The afore-named construction is not, however, alluded to by 
Matthew Arnold in his well-known lectures given at Oxford, nor 
by the Right Hon. Wm. Ewart Gladstone either in his " Juventus 
Mundi " or throughout his very extensive " Studies on Homer and 
the Homeric Age." 

Sonnini tells us that as this period is about the same as that of 
the Chinese chronicles, it can scarcely be doubted that the know- 
ledge of both the polarity of the needle and of the use of the compass 


for navigation date back 3000 years (Buffon, " Terre," Paris, 
An. VIII. p. 304). 

This ill accords, however, with the views of others who have 
concluded, perhaps rightly, that the Greeks, Romans, Tuscans 
and Phoenicians 1 were ignorant of the directive property of the 
magnet, from the fact that none of the writings, more especially 
of Theophrastus, Plato, Aristotle, Lucretius and Pliny, make explicit 
allusion thereto. 

REFERENCES. Humboldt, "Cosmos," 1859, Vol. V. p. 51; "Good 
Words," 1874, p. 70; Brumoy, " Theatre des Grecs," 1820, Vol. I. 
p. 55; Pope's translation of the "Iliad," 1738, Vol. I. pp. 14, 20; 
Schafmer, " Telegraph Manual," p. 19; also references under both the 
A.D. 121 and the A.D. 265-419 dates. 

B.C. 600-580. Thales of Miletus, Ionia, one of the "seven 
wise men of Greece " (the others being Solon, Chilo, Pittacus, Bias, 
Cleobolus and Periander), founder of the Ionic philosophy, and from 
whose school came Socrates, is said to have been the first to observe 
the electricity developed by friction in amber. 

Thales, Theophrastus, Solinus, Priscian and Pliny, as well as 
other writers, Greek and Roman, mention the fact that when a 
vivifying heat is applied to amber it will attract straws, dried leaves, 
and other light bodies in the same way that a magnet attracts iron 
(" Photii Bibliotheca " Rothomagi, 1653, folio, col. 1040-1041, 
cod. 242). 

Robert Boyle (" Philosophical Works/' London, 1738, Vol. I. 
p. 506, or London, 1744, Vol. III. p. 647) treats of different hypo- 
theses advanced to solve the phenomena of electrical attraction, 
saying : " The first is that of the learned Nicholas Cabaeus (A.D. 
1629), who thinks the drawing of light bodies by amber ... is 
caused by the steams which issue out of such bodies and discuss 
and expel the neighbouring air ... making small whirlwind. . . . 
Another is that of the eminent English philosopher, Sir Kenelm 
Digby (A.D. 1644), and embraced by the very learned Dr. Browne 
(A.D. 1646) and others, who believed that . . . chafed amber is 
made to emit certain rays of unctuous steams, which, when they 
come to be a little cooled by the external air, are somewhat con- 
densed . . . carrying back with them those light bodies to which 
they happen to adhere at the time of their retraction. . . . Pierre 
Gassendi (A.D. 1632) thinks the same, and adds that these electrical 
rays ... get into the pores of a straw . . . and by means of their 
decussation take the faster hold of it ... when they shrink back 

1 While the Greeks steered by the Great Bear, which, if a more visible, 
was a far more uncertain guide, the Phoenicians had, at an early time, dis- 
covered a less conspicuous but more trustworthy guide in the polar star, 
which the Greeks call The Phoenician Star (" History of Antiquity," Prof. 
M~,x Duncker, translated by Evelyn Abbott, London, 1882, Vol. II. p. 293). 


to the amber whence they were emitted . . . Cartesius (Descartes, 
A.D. 1644) accounts for electrical attractions by the intervention 
of certain particles, shaped almost like small pieces of riband, 
which he supposes to be formed of this subtile matter harboured 
in the pores or crevices of glass." 

The ancients were acquainted with but two electrical bodies 1 
amber (electron), which has given the denomination of the science; 
and lyncurium, which is either the tourmaline or the topaz (Dr. Davy, 
" Mem. Sir Humphry Davy," 1836, Vol. I. p. 309). From a 
recent article treating of gems, the following is extracted : " The 
name of the precious stone inserted in the ring of Gyges has not been 
handed down to us, but it is probable that it was the topaz, whose 
wonders Philostratus recounts in the Life of Apollonius. An attri- 
bute of the sun and of fire, the ancients called it the gold magnet, 
as it was credited with the power of attracting that metal, indicating 
its veins, and discovering treasures. Heliodorus, in his story of 
Theagenes and Caricles, says that the topaz saves from fire all those 
who wear it, and that Caricles was preserved by a topaz from the 
fiery vengeance of Arsaccs, Queen of Ethiopia. This stone was one 
of the first talismans that Theagenes possessed in Egypt. The 
topaz, at present, symbolizes Christian virtues faith, justice, 
temperance, gentleness, clemency." 

REFERENCES. " Greek Thinkers," by Theodor Gomperz, translation of 
L. Magnus, London 1901, p. 532; Zahn at A.D. 1696; Joannes Ruellius, 
" De Natura Stirpium," 1536, p. 125; Paul Tannery, " Pour I'Histoire 
de la Science Helldne," Paris, 1887, chap. iii. pp. 52-80; Becquerel, 
" Trait6 Experimental," Paris, 1834, Vol. I. p. 33; Pliny, " Natural His- 
tory," Bostock and Riley, 1858, book 37, chap. xii. p. 403; Pline, 
" Ilistoire Naturellc," 1778, livre 37, chapitre iii.; Lardner, " Lectures," 
1859, Vol. I. p. 104; Humboldt, "Cosmos," 1849, Vol. I. p. 182; 
Poggendorff, XI. p. 1088; Apuleius, Floriclor, p. 361; Plato; Timaeus, 
The Locrian; " De Anima Mundi . . .," 12, 15; Pauli (Adrian), Dantzig, 
1614; Ulysses Aldrovandus, " Musaeum Metallicum," pp. 411-412; 
Aurifabrum (Andreas), " Succini Historia," . . . Konigsberg, 1551-1561; 
and, for the different names given to amber and the magnet by the 
ancients, consult, more especially, the numerous authorities cited by M. 
Th. Henri Martin (" M&n. pre'sente' a T Academic dcs Inscrip. et Belles 
Lettres," premiere partie, Vol. VI. pp. 297-329, 391-411, Paris, 1860); 
J. Matthias Gessner, " De Electro Vcterum " (Com. Soc. Reg. Sc. Gott., 
Vol. Ill for 1753, p. 67) ; Louis Delaunay, " Miner, dcs Anciens," Part 2, 
p. 125 (Poggendorff, Vol. II. p. 540); Philip Jacob Hartmann, in Phil. 
Trans., Vol. XXI. No. 248, pp. 5, 49, also in Baddam's Abridgments, 
Vol. Ill, first edition, 1739, pp. 322-366. 

B.C. 600. The Etruscans are known to have devoted themselves 
at this period to the study of electricity in an especial manner. 1 

1 The Etruscans " inquired, under the direction of technical rules, into 
the hidden properties of nature, particularly those of the electric phenomena." 
" History of the Romans," by Chas. Merivale, New York, 1880, Vol. II. p. 395. 
(Cicero, " De Divin.," i. 41-42; Diod. Sic., v. 40; Scnec., "Nat. Qu.," ii. 
32; Micali, " 1' Italie," ii. 246 foil.). ,, 


They are said to have attracted lightning by shooting arrows of 
metal into clouds which threatened thunder. Pliny even asserts 
that they had a secret method of not only " drawing it (the lightning) 
down " from the clouds, but of afterwards " turning it aside " in 
any desired direction. They recognized different sources of lightning, 
those coming from the sky (a sideribus venientia), which always 
struck obliquely, and others from the earth (in/era, terrena), which 
rose perpendicularly. The Romans, on the other hand, recognized 
only two sorts, those of the day, attributed to Jupiter, and those of 
the night, attributed to Summanus (see Vassalli-Eandi at A.D. 1790). 

This Vassalli-Eandi like L. Fromondi made special study of 
the very extensive scientific knowledge displayed by the ancients 
and, as shown in his " Conghietture . . ." he concluded that they 
really possessed the secret of attracting and directing lightning. 
The above-named extracts concerning the Etruscans and Romans 
are made from the subjoined work of Mme. Blavatsky, wherein the 
following is likewise given. 

Tradition says that Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome, 
was initiated by the priests of the Etruscan divinities, and instructed 
by them in the secret of forcing Jupiter, the Thunderer, to descend 
upon earth. Salverte believes that before Franklin discovered his 
refined electricity, Numa had experimented with it most successfully, 
and that Tullus Hostilius, the successor of Numa, was the first 
victim of the dangerous " heavenly guest " recorded in history. 
Salverte remarks that Pliny makes use of expressions which seem to 
indicate two distinct processes ; the one obtained thunder (impetrare), 
the other forced it to lightning (cogere). Tracing back the knowledge 
of thunder and lightning possessed by the Etruscan priests, we 
find that Tarchon, the founder of the theurgism of the former, 
desiring to preserve his house from lightning, surrounded it by a 
hedge of the white bryony, a climbing plant which has the property 
of averting thunderbolts. The Temple of Juno had its roofs covered 
with numerous pointed blades of swords. Ben David, says the 
author of " Occult Sciences," has asserted that Moses (born about 
1570 B.C.) possessed some knowledge of the phenomena of electricity. 
Prof. Hirt, of Berlin, is of this opinion. Michaclis remarks that 
there is no indication that lightning ever struck the Temple of Jeru- 
salem during a thousand years : that, according to Josephus, a 
forest of points, of gold and very sharp, covered the roof of the temple, 
and that this roof communicated with the caverns in the hill by 
means of pipes in connection with the gilding which covered all the 
exterior of the building, in consequence of which the points would 
act as conductors. Salverte further asserts that in the days of 
Ctej ias Ktesias India was acquainted with the use of conductors 


of lightning. This historian plainly states that iron placed at the 
bottom of a fountain, and made in the form of a sword, with the 
point upward, possessed, as soon as it was thus fixed in the ground, 
the property of averting storms ind lightning. 

" Ancient India, as described by Ktesias, the Knidian," J. H. 
McCrindle, London, 1882, alludes, p. 68, to iron swords employed f to 
ward off lightning. Reference is made to the pantarbe at pp. 7-8* 
69-70, and to the elektron (amber) at pp. 20, 21, 23, 51, 52, 70, 86. 
See account of Ktesias in " Nouvelle Biogr. G&I&-.," Vol. XII. pp. 
568-571, and in " Larousse Diet./ 1 Vol. V. p. 614. 

In his " Observations sur la Physique/ 1 Vols. XXIV. pp. 321- 
323; XXV. pp. 297-303, XXVI. pp, 101-107, M. 1'Abbe Rosier 
gives the correspondence between M. de Michaelis, Professor at 
Gottingen, and Mr. Lichtenberg, showing conclusively how the 
numerous points distributed over the surface of the roof of the Temple 
of Solomon effectively served as lightning conductors. Mr. Lichten- 
berg in addition shows that the bell tower located upon a hill at 
the country seat of Count Orsini de Rosenberg, was, during a period 
of several years, so repeatedly struck by lightning, with great loss 
of life, that divine service had to be suspended in the church. The 
tower was entirely destroyed in 1730 and soon after rebuilt, but it 
was struck as often as ten times during one prolonged storm, until 
finally a fifth successive attack, during the year 1778, compelled its 
demolition. For the third time the tower was reconstructed, 
and the Count placed a pointed conductor, since which time no 
damage has been sustained. 

REFERENCES. Mme. Blavatsky, " Isis Unveiled," 1877, Vol. I. j>p. 
142, 457, 458, 527, 528, and her references to Ovid, " Fast," lib. iii. 
v. 285-346; Titus Livius, lib, i. cap. 31 ; Pliny, " Hist. Nat.," lib. ii. cap. 53 
and lib. xxviii. cap. 2 ; Lucius Calp, Piso ; Columella, lib. x. v. 346, etc. ; La 
Boissiere, " Notice sur les Travaux de 1' Academic du Gard," part I. pp. 
304-314; "Bell. Jud. adv. Roman," lib. v. cap. 14; " Magas. Sc. ae 
Gottingen/ 1 3* anne 5* cahier; Ktesias, in " India ap. Photum. Bibl. 
. Cod./' 72. See also, De La Rive, " Electricity," London, 1858, Vol. Ill, 
chap. ii. p. 90 ; " Encycl. Brit./ 1 8th ed., article " Electricity " ; Lardner, 

"Lectures," II. p. 99; Humboldt, "Cosmos," 1849, Vol. II. pp. 502-504; 
Boccalini, " Parnassus/' Century I. chap. xlvi. alluded to at p. 24, Vol. I. 
of Miller's " Retrospect "; Gouget, " Origin of Laws," Vol. III. book 3; 

Themistius, Oratio 27, p. 337; " Agathias Myrenaeus de rebus gestis 
Tustiniani," lib. v. p. 151; Dutens, " Origine des d&xmvertes 

/"w+lma*o TWa era i\ne* ** -fr\f Tulxr T n& e r\ ci<* TTalfrvncki* " "R 

Magazine" for July 1785, p. 522; Falconer, "Mem. of 
Soc. of Manchester/' Vol III. p/278; " Sc. Amer./' No. 7. 
p. 99; E. Salverte, " Phil, of Magic," 1847, Vol. II. chaps, viii. and ix.; 
Eraser's Magazine" for 1839; H. Martin, Paris, 1865-6; P. F. von 

Dietrich, Berlin, 1784. 

B.C. 588. The earliest reliable record of messages transmitted 
by the sign of fire is to be found in the book of Jeremiah, vi. i : " O 
ye children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst 
of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a Mgn 

dc'Jcrat uoorm (axis ut diximus refpondentcm bomini imo ucro fcV ob id loquctcm 
(.^iiid lapis rigore pigrms/ecce fcnfus manufque tnbuit ill K Quid fern duritia 
pugnatius Sea cedit patitur morfu trabitur a magnctc lapide domttrixqt ilia rcru 
omnium matcna ad inane oefcio quid cumtatque utpropius ucntt afifht tencturq* 
complexuqi bero*- Sydcritu ob id alio nomine uocant quidam beracleon. Magncs 
appcllatu* eft ab Inuentore ut audlor eft Nicander in Ida repertus Nanq* cY paflim 
Inucniutur ut i bifpanu quoqt mucniflc autc fcrtur clauis crept day & baculnrufpidc 
hacrcnnbus cumarmenu pafcer&.Qutnqufrgcnera magnetic Sou cb us monftrat. 
Actbiopicum & magncfmm c macedonucontermina abeboue locatu pctentibus 
dcxtra T ernum in b^rtio boetie. Quartum cura Alexandnam troadem. Quintum 
in magnefia afif .Differentia pnma mas fit an focmina proxima in colore Nam qui 
in maccdomca magnefia repermntT rufFi mgriq; fum boetius uero ruffi colons plus 
b.ib# q nigri qui Troade muenitur mgcr 6t focmmci fexus. Ideoquc fine uiribus 
Octet nmusautem in magnefia afip candidus ncqi attrabens ftrrufimilifcp pumici 
(Jomprrtum tan to melt ores c(Tc quanto funt magis ccrulci ctbioptco fumma datur 
pondufq; argcnto repcndttur. Inucnitur i actbiopia Zintr uraq; uocafregto barcofa 
ibi & cmatites magne (angumei colons fan guicmqt reddens fi tcrat" (ed & crocum 
in attrabcndo fcrrum non cad em cmatm naturaquc magncti actbioptct argumctu 
eft quod magnctcm quoquliumacl fc trahitomnesaulcmbioculorumedicamctis 
prolunt ad fua quifq; portionc maximc cpipboras fiftunt.Sanant 6c aduAa cremati 
trtttqt.Alius rurfus in cadcetbiopia no procul monsqui fcry omneabigit rcfpuitq; 
dc utraqi natura ffpius diximus. 

r i Apidcex Scbiro tnfula integru fludiiare traduteundem mcrgi Commintnu 
maflb troadis farcopbagus lapis tiflfih ucna (cmdttur Corpora dcfuncforu cond u 
in co abfumicoftat mtra.xl diccxccptts dcnttbus JMuttanu* (pcculaquoq; Ongtlcs 
6c ucrtcs &: calctamcnta illata mortuis bptdea fieri audio r eft. Eius generis mfyaa 
(.txa funt &: in oncntc qu^ uiucnttbus quoq; adalligata crodunt corpora Mtttor efl 
aut (eruandis corportbus nccabfumendiscbemitescbori fimilltrrus in quo Danu 
condttum fcrunt parioquc fimilis candore & duricia minus tamcn pondcrofus qui 
torrus uocatur TbcopbraOas audlor eft & tranducidos lapides mcgypto mucniri 
quospbio ft milis aut quod tortalTis tune fuerant quomam cV.ii.deitnunt & noui 
rrpcrumtur Hafius gufbtu falfus podagras lenit pedibus in uafc ex co cauatoiditts 
prctcrea cmma crurum uttia in bis lapidicims fa runt" cum metallis omnibus rruta 
uiticntur Emfdcm lapidis flos appcllatur farina cxco qucdamollis pcrmdecfficax 
Ett aut fimilis pumici rufo admixtus en alias cere cypnp Mammarum uitia cmedat 
pici aut refine uc ftrumas 6C panosdifcutit,pdc& ptificis mndacu mcllc ulcera-id 
CicatriccspducitexcreilccntiacroditcVad Bcftiarum morfus repugnatia curatiom 
fuppurataficcat.FitcatapUfnuexcopodagncis mix to fabf lomcmo. 

I DC Tbeop'braikis cV Mutiaus cc aliquos lapides q pariat crcdut tbr opbraftus 
auclor eftebur foflile candido tV nigro colore mueniri cV oflae terra nafci Inucniriq? 
Lip ides odeos palmatt circa mundam m bifpanta ubi cefar dictator pompctum uictt 
rcpenuntur.Iaq; quottcns fregeri* Sunt cV ntgri quo^t audtontas uemt m marmora 
ficut tenarius Varro ntgros ex apbiyca firm i ores cc tradit q m Jtalia.E dmcrfo albos 
coranos duri ores cj panes. Idem luncfcm (ctlicem ferra fecari tu(culanurrq?di(filire 
igm fabmu fufcu addito olco etiam luccrc.Item molas uerfatilcs a nulfmis lucntas 
aliquas 6C fpontc motas mucnimus i prodigus.Nufq autc utilior q \ Italia gigmtur 
Lapifq; no eft faxti.In quibufda ucro^>umcns orrnmo no Inucmt.Sunt quid.i i eo 
gcncrc molhores qui &: cote lcui;antur ut procul t inmcntibus opbitcs uiden poii.t 

Cams Plunus Srt-uiulus. Pa^'r takt-n from earliest known edition of tlio Natnrahs 
Hislonae Venetiis 140.7, oi whicli there arc- only thiec kno\\n original vellnni ( opies 
These aie now at Vienna, Ravenna and in the l)ibliothtN}ue Sainle (k'ncvu^ve, Pans* 


tationc t-' Lfbrif -VI.II. 

' ,. _.; i -;- /-*.V ' * 

Joanne Argyrcjpylo.Byzantio intcrprte:& ad 
Grxcum exemplar dUigenti&imd rccognitL 




%: fi*> 

3Z**w*J?* * 

Apiiiroanocm Roigny Vfel ad D. facottun, 
, /Ub Bafilifco t <juat%r Elements. 

' ' . . S *^ *- v 



^vv *W . i^- 
( / 

e P.ILI<' ol AnMotlr's " DC \ T attnali Ausc-xil tat ionc," Pans 154^. 

i he propt-i t^' of Dr. \\*il!i;nn (iilhrid, \she-iiat Cambnd^cc, 
i iliccl \vit1i In-, name ami that i>l Arc^licleacon '1 hoinas Drmii 
Kioni tlie 1 ii>r<u\ of Dr. Silvauns. P. Tlu^ni p^on. ' 

To ftrcc /></,'. 11 


of fire in Beth-haccerem ; for evil appeareth out of the north and 
great destruction." 

REFERENCES. Turnbull, " Electro-magnetic Telegraph/' 1853, p. 
17; Knight's " Mech. Diet.," Vol. III. p. 2092; Penny and other 
Encyclopaedias . 

B.C. 341. Aristotle, Greek philosopher, says (" Hist, of Anim.," 
IX. 37) that the electrical torpedo causes or produces a torpor upon 
those fishes it is about to seize, and, having by that means got them 
into its mouth, feeds upon them. The torpedo is likewise alluded to, 
notably by (Claudius) Plutarch, the celebrated Greek moralist, by 
Dioscorides, Pedacius, Greek botanist, referred to in Gilbert's " De 
Magnete," Book I. chaps, i, ii, and xiv; by Galen, illustrious Roman 
physician, who is also frequently alluded to in " De Magnete/' 
and by Claudius Claudian, Latin poet, who flourished at the com- 
mencement of the fifth century. Oppian describes (" Oppian's 
Halieuticks of the nature of fishes and fishing of the ancients in 
five books," lib. ii. v. 56, etc., also lib. iii. v. 149) the organs by which 
the animal produces the above effect, and Pliny (" Nat. Hist.," 
Book 32, chap, i) says : " This fish, if touched by a rod or spear, 
at a distance paralyzes the strongest muscles, and binds and arrests 
the feet, however swift." 

" The very crampe -fish tarped, knoweth her owne force and power, 
and being herself not benummed, is able to astonish others " (Holland 
" Plinie," Book IX. chap. xlii.). 

" We, here, and in no other place, met with that extraordinary 
fish called the torpedo, or numbing fish, which is in shape very like 
the fiddle fish, and is not to be known from it but by a brown circular 
spot about the bigness of a crown-piece near the centre of its back " 
(Ausonius, " Voyages," Book II. chap. xii.). 

REFERENCES. " Encycl. Metr.," IV. p. 41 ; " Encycl. Brit.," article 
" Electricity " ; Jos. Wm. Moss, " A Manual of Classical Biography," 
London, 1837, Vol. I. pp. 105-186, for all the Aristotle's treatises, also Com- 
mentaries and Translations ; Jourdain (Charles et Amable), " Recherches 
. . . traductions latines d' Aristotle," Paris, 1843; Fahie, " Hist, of Elec. 
Teleg.," p. 170; " Sci. Amer.," No. 457, pp. 7301, 7302; " Aristotle," by 
Geo. Grote, 'London, 1872; Humboldt, " Cosmos," 1859-1860, Vols. I and 
II passim, Vol. III. pp. 13-15, 29-30, 124; " Journal des Savants," for 
Feb. 1861, March and May 1872, also for Feb., May and Sept. 1893. 

Aristotle is alluded to in Gilbert's " De Magnete," at Book I. chaps, 
i. ii. vii. xv. xvi. xvii. ; Book II. chaps, i. 1 iii. iv. ; Book V. chap. xii. ; 
Book VI, chaps, iii. v. vi. 

1 In this Chapter I of Book II Gilbert says that Aristotle admits only 
of two simple movements of his elements, from the centre and toward the 
centre ... so that in the earth there is but one motion of all its parts towards 
the centre of the world a wild headlong falling. Johannes Franciscus 
Offusius (the author of " De divina astrorum facultate," Paris, 1570), says he 
distinguishes several magnetic movements, the first to the centre, the second 
to ti|e pole, traversing seventy-seven degrees, the third to iron, the fourth to 
a loadstone. 


B.C. 341. ^Eneas, the tactician, believed to be the 
of 'Stymphale alluded to by Xcnophon, invented a singular method 
of telegraphing phrases commonly used, especially in war. These 
were written upon exactly similar oblong boards placed at the 
dispatching and receiving stations, where they stood upon floats in 
vessels of water. At a given signal the water was allowed to flow 
out of the vessel at each station, and, when the desired phrase on 
the board had reached the level of the vessel, another signal was niade 
so that the outflow could be stopped and the desired signal read at 
the receiving station. 

REFERENCES. Laurencin, " Lc Tel6graphe," Chap. I ; " Penny Encycl.," 
Vol. XXIV. p. 145 ; " Midland Bio./' Paris, 1855, Vol. XII. pp. 459-460. 

B.C. 337-330. From the well-known work by Mine. Blavatsky 
(" Isis Unveiled," New York, 1877) the following curious extracts 
are made regarding " The Ether or Astral Light " (Vol. I. chap. v. 
pp. 125-162) : 

" There has been an infinite confusion of names to express one 
and the same thing, amongst others, the Hermes-fire, the lightning 
of Cybele, the nerve-aura and the fluid of the magnetists, the od 
of Reichenbach, the fire-globe, or meteor-az of Babinet, the physic 
force of Sergeant Cox and Mr. Crookes, the atmospheric magnetism 
of some naturalists, galvanism, and finally, electricity, which are 
but various names for many different manifestations or effects of 
the same all-pervading causes the Greek Archcus. ..." Only in 
connection with these discoveries (Edison's Force and Graham Bell's 
Telephone, which may unsettle, if not utterly upset all our ideas of 
the imponderable fluids) we may perhaps well remind our readers 
of the many hints to be found in the ancient histories as to a certain 
secret in the possession of the Egyptian priesthood, who could 
instantly communicate, during the celebration of the Mysteries, 
from one temple to another, even though the former were at Thebes 
and the latter at the other end of the country; the legends attri- 
buting it, as a matter of course, to the " invisible tribes " of the air 
which carry messages for mortals. The author of " Pre-Adamite 
Man " (P. B. Randolph, at p. 48) quotes an instance, which, being 
merely given on his own authority, and he seeming uncertain 
whether the story comes from Macrinus or some other writer, may be 
taken for what it is worth. He found good evidence, he says, during 
his stay in Egypt, that one of the Cleopatras actually sent news 
by a wire to all of the cities from Heliopolis (the magnificent chief 
seat of sun-worship) to the island of Elephantine, on the Upper Nile. 

Further on, Mme. Blavatsky thus alludes to the loadstone : 

" The stone magnet is believed by many to owe its name to 
Magnesia. ..." We consider, however, the opinion of the Hermetists 


to be the correct one. The word magh, magus, is derived from the 
Sanscrit mahaji, meaning the great or wise ... so the magnet 
stone was called in honour of the Magi, who were the first to discover 
its wonderful properties. Their places of worship were located 
throughout the country in all directions, and among these were 
some temples of Hercules, hence the stone when it became known 
that the priests used it for their curative and magical purposes 
received the name of Magnesian or Herculean stone. Socrates, 
speaking of it, says : " Euripides calls it the Magnesian stone, but 
the common people the Herculean " (Plato, " Ion " Burgess 
Vol. IV. p. 294). In the same Vol. I. of " Isis Unveiled," we are 
likewise informed that Electricity in the Norse legends is personated 
by Thor, the son of Odin, at Samothrace by the Kabeirian Demeter 
(Joseph Ennemoser, "History of Magic," London, 1854, Vol. II.; 
J. S. C. Schweigger, " Introd. to Mythol. through Nat Hist.," Halle, 
1836), and that it is denoted by the " twin brothers," the Dioskuri. 
Also that the celestial, pure fire of the Pagan altar was electrically 
drawn from the astral light, that magnetic currents develop them- 
selves into electricity upon their exit from the body, and that the 
first inhabitants of the earth brought down the heavenly fire to 
their altars (J. S. C. Schweigger in Ennemoser's " Hist, of Magic/' 
Vol. II. p. 30; Maurus Honoratus Servius, "Virgil," Eclog. VI. 
v. 42). 

B.C. 321. Theophrastus, Greek philosopher, first observed the 
attractive property of the lyncurium, supposed by many to be the 
tourmaline, and gave a description of it in his treatise upon stones 
(" De Lapidibus," sec. 53 ; or the translation of Sir John Hill, 1774, 
chap, xlix.-l., p. 123). This crystal was termed lapis lyncurius by 
Pliny in his " Nat. Hist.," and lapis electricus by Linnaeus in his 
"Flora Zeylanica " (U. Aldrovandus, " Mus. Metal."; Philemon 
Holland, " The Historic of the World," commonly called " The 
Naturall Historic of C. Plinius Secundus," London, 1601). 

Theophrastus and Pliny speak of this native magnet as 
possessing, like amber, the property of attracting straw, dried leaves, 
bark and other light bodies. The different sorts of loadstones, of 
which the best were blue in colour (as stated by Taisnier, Porta, 
Barthol. de Glanville and others), are thus alluded to by Pliny 
(" Nat. Hist.," lib. xxxvi. cap. 16) : " Sotacus describes five kinds : 
the ^Ethiopian; that of Magnesia, a country which borders on 
Macedonia ; a third from Hyettus, in Boetia ; a fourth from Alex- 
andria, in Troas ; and a fifth from Magnesia, in Asia " (Porta, 
" Natural Magick," Book VII. chap. L). He further says that iron 
cannot resist it ; " the moment the metal approaches it, it springs 


toward the magnet, and, as it clasps it, is held fast in the 
magnet's embrace." It is by many called ferrum vivum, or quick 

iron. 1 

Claudian speaks of it as " a stone which is preferred to all that is 
most precious in the East. . . . Iron gives it life and nourishes it " 
(Claudian, Idyl V; Ennemoser, " Hist, of Magic/ 1 Vol. II. p. 27). 

Hippocrates, the father of medical science, calls it " the stone 
which carries away iron." 

Epicurus, an Athenian of the ^Egean tribe, says : " The loadstone 
or magnet attracts iron, because the particles which are continually 
flowing from it, as from all bodies, have such a peculiar fitness in 
form to those which flow from iron that, upon collision, they easily 
unite. . . . The mutual attraction of amber and like bodies may be 
explained in the same manner." 

Hier. Cardan intimates that "it is a certain appetite or desire 
of nutriment that makes the loadstone snatch the iron ..." 
(" De Subtilitate," Basileae, 1611, lib. vii. p. 381). 

Diogenes of Apollonia (lib. ii. " Nat. Qusest.," cap. xxiii.) 
says that " there is humidity in iron which the dryness of the magnet 
feeds upon." 

Cornelius Gemma supposed invisible lines to stretch from the 
magnet to the attracted body, a conception which, says Prof. 
Tyndall, reminds us of Faraday's lines of force. 

Lucretius accounts for the adhesion of the steel to the load- 
stone by saying that on the surface of the magnet there are hooks, 

1 At p. 1 6, note No. 4, of his " Dawn of Civilization," New York, 1894, 
Mr. G. Maspero says that the well-known French archaeologist, Charles 
Theodule Deveria (1831-1871), was the first to prove that the Egyptians 
believed the sky to be made of iron or steel. This was done in his mono- 
graph entitled " Le fer et 1'aimant, leur nom et leur usage dans Tancienne 

Egyptologique," issued in Paris during 1897. So well established was the 
belief in a sky-ceiling of iron, says M. Charas, that it was preserved in common 
speech by means of the name given to the metal itself, viz. Bai-ni-pit (in the 
Coptic, Benipi, benipe) metal of heaven. Reference is thereto made in " The 
Transactions of the Royal Society of Literature," Vol. XIV. second series, 
p. 291, by Mr. J. Offord, Jr., who speaks of the splendid and exceedingly 
valuable papyrus in the Louvre " Catalogue des Manuscripts," Paris, 1874, 
pp. 170-171 of M. Deveria, who frequently referred to it in the preparation 
of the monograph above alluded to upon Iron and the Loadstone in Ancient 
Egypt (" Zeitschrift fur ^gyptische Sprache und Alterthumskunde " 
Review founded by M. le Docteur H. Brugsch). Deveria says : " Cette 
matiere celeste (dont parle Plutarque) devait Stre I'aimant, la substance 
d'Horus, la siderites des Romains, plut6t que le fer non-magne*tique, sub- 
stance typhonienne. ... Us disent aussi que la pierre d'aimant est un des 
os de Horus et le fer un des os de Typhon : c'est Manathon qui nous 
1'apprend." For Deveria, see " La Grande Encyclopedic," H. Lamirault et 
Cie., Paris, n. d., Vol. XIV. p. 375. 


and, on the surface of the steel, little rings which the hooks catch 
hold of. 

Thales, Aristotle, Anaxagoras of Clazomenae and the Greek 
sophist Hippias, ascribe the loadstone's attractive virtue to the 
soul with which they say it is endowed. Humboldt (" Cosmos/' 
article on the Magnetic Needle) says soul signifies here " the inner 
principle of the moving agent," and he adds in a footnote : " Aristotle 
(" De Anima," I. 2) speaks only of the animation of the magnet as 
of an opinion that originated with Thales." Diogenes Laertius 
interprets this statement as applying also distinctly to amber, for 
he says : " Aristotle and Hippias maintain as to the doctrine 
enounced by Thales." 

The native magnet appears to have long been known in nearly 
every quarter of the globe (Humboldt, " Cosmos," 1848, Vol. V, 
and Harris, " Rudimentary Magnetism," Parts I and II). 

In the Talmud, it is called achzhdb'th, the stone which attracts ; 
in the Aztec, tlaihiomani tell, the stone that draws by its breath ; in 
the Sanscrit, ayaskdnta, loving toward iron ; in the Siamese, me-lek, 
that which attracts iron; in the Chinese, thsu-chy, love stone, also 
hy-thy-chy, stone that snatches up iron ; in the French, I'aimant, and 
in the Spanish, iman, loving stone; in the Hungarian, magnet kd, 
love stone; while in the Greek it is called siderites, owing to its 
resemblance to iron. 

For lyncurium of the ancients see Phil. Trans., Vol. LI. p. 394, 
and Hutton's " Abridgments," Vol. XI. p. 419. 

Euripides (" Fragmenta Euripidis," Didot edit., 1846, p. 757) 
called it lapis herculaneus, from its power over iron, and it was also 
known as lapis heracleus, doubtless because the best was, at one 
time, said to be found near Heraclea in Lydia (Plato, " Ion " 
Burgess Vol. IV. p. 294; see, besides, Blavatsky, " Isis Un- 
veiled," Vol. I. p. 130; Hervart (J. F.), Ingolstadii, 1623). 

It has likewise been designated as follows : Chinese, tchu-chy, 
directing stone; Icelandic, leiderstein, leading stone; Swedish, 
segel-sten, seeing stone ; Tonkinin, d'dnamtchtim, stone which shows 
the south ; and, by reason of its great hardness, the Greeks called 
it calamita ; the Italians calamita ; the French calamite, also 
diamant ; the Hebrews khalamish or kalmithath, and the Romans 
adamas, while adamant was the name given to the magnetic needle 
(compass) by the English of the time of Edward III (T. H. H. Martin, 
" De I'aimant, de ses noms divers et de ses varie'te's," Paris, 1861; 
Buttmann, " Bemerkungen . . . des Magnetes und des Basaltes," 
1808, Band II. ; G. A. Palm, " Der Magnet in Alterthum," 1867).! 

1 The word calamita was first used by the Italians. It is employed by 
Petri ,de Vineis (Pierre des Vignes), Matthieu de Messine, the notary of 


" This stone adamas is dyners and other than an Magnas, fcr 
yf an adamas be sette by yren it suffryth not the yren come to the 
magnas, but drawyth it by a manere of vyolence fro the magnas " 
(Trevisa, " Earth, de Prop, reb.," XVI. 8). 1 

" The adamant cannot draw yron if the diamond lye by it " 
(Lyly, " Euphues/' sig. K. p. 10). 

" Right as an adamound, iwys, can drawen to hym sotylly the 
yren " ("Rom. Rose "). 

" In Ynde groweth the admont stone . . . she by her nature 
draweth to her yron " (Caxton, " Myrrour," II. vii. 79). 

" The adamant placed neare any iron will suffer it to be drawen 
away of the lode stone " (Maplet, " Greene Forest," I.). 

" You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant ; but yet you draw 
not iron; for my heart is true as steel " (Shakespeare, " Midsum. 
Night's Dream/' Act. ii. sc. i). 

" As sun to day, as turtle to her mate, as iron to adamant " 
(Shakespeare, " Troilus and Cressida," Act iii. sc. 2). 

" The grace of God's spirit, like the true load stone or adamant, 
draws up the yron heart of man to it " (Bishop Hall, " Occas. 
Meclit.," 52.). 

Lentino, and by Guido Guinicclli of Bologna (Libri, " Hist, dcs Sc. Math6m.," 
Vol. II. pp. 06-69). Consult likewise C. Falconet, " Dissert Histor.," 
Paris, 1746; " Le Journal des S9avans " for July-December 1724, Vol. 
LXXV. pp. 22-28; W. Falconer, Vol. III. of the " Mem. of the Society of 
Manchester," also " Bibl. Britan.," 1798, Vol. VIII. p. 281. 

In the " Essai d'un Glossairc Occitanicn " (" Lc Journal des Savants " for 
June 1820, pp. 369-370) it is said about M. de Rochcgudc that he discovered 
in " La Vie de St. Honorat de Lerins," written by Raimont Feraut in 1300, 
the words caramida, carannta, which he interprets as catamite, aimant, 
boussole, and that he also read in Ihe " Bcrgerics " of Remy Belleau (1528- 
1577) the words catamite on aiguille aimantee. He found that Joachim du 
Bellay (1524-1560) had written " Comme le fcr qui suit la calamitc," and 
Nicholas Rapiii (1540-1608) " Tournc ma calamite," but, after examining 
all the ancient works obtainable, he concluded that the poem of Raimont 
Feraut, admitted by him to have been translated from an old Latin MS., 
is the earliest publication containing the word adopted by many to designate 
the compass. The poem alluded to is the only one extant of Raimont 
Feraut Raymond F6raudi de Thoarc] a troubadour, long at the court of 
Charles II of Naples, who died about A.D. 1324 (" Biogr. Gener." Hoefer 
Vol. XVII. p. 354)- 

1 " If an adamant be set by iron, it suffereth not the iron to come to the 
magnet, but it draweth it by a manner of violence, from the magnet, so that 
though the magnet draweth iron to itself, the adamant draweth it away from 
the magnet " (Mediaeval Lore, " Gleanings from Barthol. de Glan villa," by 
Robert Steele, London, 1893, Chap. IX. p. 32). The great " Liber de Pro- 
prietatibus Rerum," which has been elsewhere cited in this compilation, 
was undoubtedly written by Glanvilla (who, according to Salimbene, author of 
the " Chronicles of Parma," had been a professor of theology in the Paris 
University) before the year 1260, for, as Steele remarks, he cites Albertus 
Magnus, who was in Paris during 1248, but does not quote from either Vincent 
de Beauvais, Thomas Aquinas, Roger Bacon or Egidius Colonna, all of whom 
were in Paris during the second half of the thirteenth century. 


" The adamant ... is such an enemy to the magnet that, if 
it be bound to it, it will not attract iron " (Leonardus, " Mirr. 
Stones," 63). 

According to Beckmann (Bohn, 1846, pp. 86-98) the real tour- 
maline was first brought from Ceylon (where the natives called it 
tournamal), at the end of the seventeenth century or beginning of 
the eighteenth century (see A.D. 1707). 

It is classed by Pliny as a variety of carbuncle (lib. xxxvii. 
cap. vii.). John de Laet says (" De Gemmis," 1647, 8vo, p. 155) : 
" The description of the lyncurium docs not ill agree with the 
hyacinth of the moderns." Watson thinks likewise (" Phil. Trans.," 
Vol. LI. p. 394) and so does John Serapion-Serapio Mauritanus 
Yuhanna Ibn Serapion Ben Ibrahim (alluded to by Gilbert, " De 
Magnete," Book I. chap, i.) in his " Lib. de simplicibus medicinis," 
Argent. 1531, fol. p. 263; and Anselm Boece de Boot, Flemish 
naturalist (" Gem. et Lap. Hist.," Leyden, 1636); while Epiphanius 
(" De Gemmis," XII.) states that he could find in the Bible no 
mention of the lyncurium, which latter he also believes to have been 
the hyacinth. On the other hand, the Duke de Noya Caraffa 
(" Recueil de Mem. yEpinus," Petersb. 1762, 8vo, p. 122) considers 
the tourmaline to be identical with the theamedes of the ancients 
(Pliny, lib. xx. 50, and xxxvi., 25; Cardan, " De Subtilitate," 
lib. vii. p. 386). 

The betylos has doubtless been likewise named in this connection. 
Strabo, Pliny, Helancius all speak of the electrical or electro- 
magnetic power of the betyli. They were worshipped in the re- 
motest antiquity in Egypt and Samothrace as magnetic stones 
" containing souls which had fallen from heaven/' and the priests 
of Cybele wore a small betylos on their bodies (Blavatsky, " Isis 
Unveiled," Vol. I. p. 332). 

REFERENCES. Enficld, " Diet. Phil.," I. 152 : Marbodeus Callus, 
1530-1531 Friburg, pp. 41 and 1539, Cologne, p. 39; Bostock's "Pliny," 
Book XXXVII. chap. xii. ; Azuni, " Boussole;," 1809, p. 37; Venanson, 
" De 1'invention de la Boussole Nautique," Naples, 1808, pp. 27-29; 
Thomas, " Sc. An.," 1837, p. 250. See also De Noya, " Encycl. Brit.," 
1855, VIII. p. 529, and Priestley, " History of Electricity," 1775, p. 293; 
A. Carealpini, " De Metallicis," Roma?, 1596; Th. Browne, " Pseudodoxia 
Epidemica," 1650, p. 51; St. Isidore, " Originum," lib. xvi. cap. 4; 
Corn. Gemma, " De Natura Divinis," lib. i. cap. 7; Alb. Magnus, " De 
Mineral.," lib. ii. ; Joseph Ennemoscr, "History of Magic," Vol. II. 
pp. 27, 29, 51; Julius Solinus, " De Mirabilibus," cap. 34; Johann 
S. T. Gehler, " Physik. Worterbuch," article " Magnet ismus "; Joannes 
Langius, " Epistolarum Med.," Epist. Ixxv. For extract of Scrapio's 
work see Fernel's "Coll. . . . Greek Writers," 1576. Consult likewise 
" Collection des anciens Alchimistes Grecs," par M. Marcellin Berthelot, 
Paris, 1887, p. 252 : siderites, aimant ou magnes, ferrum vivum, male et 
femelle with references to Dioscorides, Pliny and Lexicon Alch. Rulandi. 


For Pliny, see also " Manual of Classical Biography," by Jos. Wm. Moss, 
London, 1837, Vol. I. pp. 473-504. 

" For lyke as ye lodestone draweth vnto it yron : so doeth beneficence 
and well doyng allure all men vnto her." Udal. Marke, c. 5. 

B.C. 285-247. T -Ptolemy (Ptolemseus II, surnamed Phila- 
delphus, or the brother-loving, son of Ptolemy Soler) ordered 
Timochares, the architect of the palace, to suspend the iron statue 
of Arsinoe in the temple of Pharos. 

Although Pliny says (lib. xxxiv. cap. 14) that the statue was 
never completed owing to the death of both Ptolemy and his 
architect, Ausonius (Decimus Magnus), Roman poet (A.D. 309-393), 
asserts the contrary in his most important work, " Mosella " (vv. 314- 
320), translation of Mr. de la Ville de Mirmont, the first edition of 
which was published by Ugollet at Venice in 1499. Therein it is 
said : " Timochares (and not Dinochares, Dinocrates, Demochrates 
or Chirocrates) suspended the statue in mid-air (dans les hauteurs 
aeriennes du temple). , . . Under the ceiling- vault crowned with 
loadstones, a bluish magnet draws, by means of an iron hair, the 
young woman it holds in its embrace." 

" Dinocrates began to make the arched roofe of the temple of 
Arsinoe all of magnet, or this loadstone, to the end, that within 
that temple the statue of the said princesse made of yron, might 
seeme to hang in the aire by nothing " (Holland, " Plinie/' Book 
XXXIV. cap. 14). 

King Theodoric alludes (Cassiodor, " Variar," lib. i. epist. 45) 
to a statue of Cupid in the temple of Diana at Ephesus (one of the 
seven Wonders of the World), and St. Augustine (" De Civitate 
Dei/' XXI. 6) speaks of a bronze figure in the temple of Serapis at 
Alexandria, both suspended by means of a magnet attached to the 
ceiling. 1 

REFERENCES. De Mirmont, " La Moselle," 1889, " Comment aire/' 
PP- 93 and 95; St. Isidore, " Originum," lib. xvi. cap. 4; G. Cedrinus, 
" Compend. Hist.," cap. 267; Knight's " Mech. Diet.," Vol. II. p. 1370; 
Knight's " Cyclopaedia," Vol. I. p. 363 ; J. Ennemoser, " Hist, of Magic," 
Vol. II. p. 35; Ath. Kircher, " Magnes," 1643, lib. ii. prob. vi. ; Dino- 
chares, with translation of poem (Claudian, Idyl V) at pp. 6162 of 
"Antique Gems," by Rev. C. W. King, London, 1866; Vincent de 
Beauvais, "Spec. Mai," Douai, 1624, Vol. L, lib. viii. cap. 34; Alb. 
Magnus, " De Mineralibus," 1651, lib. ii. cap. 6, p. 243; Ausonio Lucius 
Ampelius, "Lib. Memorialis," Paris, 1827, cap. viii.; T. H. Martin, 
" Observ. et Theories," 1865, pp. 5-7 ; Thos. Browne, " Pseud. Epidem.," 
1658, Book II. p. 79; W. Barlowe's " Magneticall Advertisements," 

1 It is scarcely necessary to add that the afore-named method of sus- 
pension is impracticable. This curious problem was deemed worthy of a 
memoir by M. J. Plateau, communicated to the " Acade"mie des Sciences " 
at its stance of November 28, 1864 (" Le Moniteur Scientifique," par le Dr. 
Quesneville, Vol. VI. p. 1146). 


1616, p. 45 ; " Simonis Maioli . , . dies Caniculares, seu Colloqui, XXIII," 
*597 P- 7 82 ' Rumnus, "Prosper d'Aquitaine " ; Porta, " Magia 
Naturalis," lib. vii. cap. 27; " Mosella," in Wcrnsdorf's " Poetae Latini 
Minores"; E. Salverte, " Phil, of Magic/' 1847, Vol. II. p. 215. 

B.C. 200. Polybius, a Greek statesman and historian, describes 
(lib. x. cap. 45, " General History ") his optical telegraph pyrsia 
because the signals were invariably produced by means of fire- 
lights an unquestionable improvement upon the modes of com- 
munication which had been previously suggested by Cleoxenes and 
Democritus. It consisted of a board upon which the twenty-four 
letters of the Greek alphabet were arranged in five columns, one 
space being vacant. The party signalling would hold up with his 
left hand a number of torches indicating the column from which the 
desired letter was to be taken, while in the right hand he would 
hold up to view as many torches as were necessary to designate 
the particular letter required. 

REFERENCES. Rollin's " Ancient History, 9th Dundee/' Vol VI. 
p. 321 ; " Emporium of Arts and Sciences," Vol. I. pp. 296-299; " Penny 
Encycl.," Vol. XXIV. p. 145. A good cut of the Polybius telegraph 
will be found at p. 2 of "Wireless Telegraphy," by Wm. Maver, Jr., 
New York, 1904, and a very detailed account of all known lire signals is 
given at pp. 148 and 373, Vol. IV of " The History of Herodotus," by 
Geo. Rawlinson, London, 1880. 

B.C. 60-56. Lucretius (Titus Lucretius Carus), Roman poet, 
alludes to the magnet in his poem " De Rerum Natura " ("The 
Nature of Things "), thus translated by Dr. Thomas Busby, London, 
1813, Book VI. vv. 1045-1059 : 

" Now, chief of all, the Magnet's powers I sing, 
And from what laws the attractive functions spring. 
(The Magnet's name the observing Grecians drew 
From the Magnet's region where it grew.) 
Its viewless, potent, virtues men surprise; 
Its strange effects they view with wondering eyes, 
When without aid of hinges, links or springs, 
A pendent chain we hold of steely rings, 
Dropt from the stone; the stone the binding source, 
Ring cleaves to ring, and owns magnetic force; 
Those held superior those below maintain; 
Circle 'neath circle downward draws in vain, 
While free in air disports the oscillating chain. 
So strong the Magnet's virtue as it darts 
From ring to ring and knits the attracted parts." 

A rendering by Thomas Creech, A.M., London, 1714, Book VI. 
w, 894-989, likewise deserves reproduction here : 

" Now sing my muse, for 'tis a weighty cause. 
Explain the Magnet, why it strongly draws, 
And brings rough Iron to its fond embrace. 
This, Men admire; for they have often seen 
Small Rings of Iron, six, or eight, or ten, 
Compose a subtile chain, no Tye between; 


But, held by this, they seem to hang in air, 

One to another sticks and wantons there; 

So great the Loadstone's force, so strong to bear ! 

Fiist, from the MAGNET num'rous Parts arise, 
And swiftly move; the STONE gives vast supplies; 
Which, springing still in Constant Streams, displace 
The neighb'nng air and make an EMPTY SPACE ; 
So when the STEEL comes there, some PARTS begin 
To leap on through the VOID and enter in. 

The STEEL will move to seek the STONE'S embrace, 
Or up or down, or 1' any other place, 
Which way soever lies the EMPTY SPACE." 

The transmission of the magnetic attraction through rings or 
chains is also alluded to in Plato's " Ion," p. 533, D. E. Ed. 
Stephanus ; by Pliny, lib. xxxiv. cap. 14 ; St. Augustine, " De 
Civitate Dei/' XX. 4; Philo, " De Mundi Opificio," D. ed., 1691, 
p. 32; likewise by the learned Bishop Hall, " The English Seneca/' 
as follows : " That the loadstone should by his secret virtue so 
drawe yron to it selfe that a whole chaine of needles should hang 
by insensible points at each other, only by the influence that it 
sends downe from the first, if it were not ordinary, would seeme 
incredible " (" Meditations," 1640, con. 3, par. 18). 

REFERENCES. " Le Journal dcs Savants " for January 1824, p. 30, 
also for March 1833, June 1866 and December 1869; Plutarch, " Platon- 
Qmcst.," Vol. 11. p. 1004, ed. par.; St. Isidore, " Ktymologiarum, 
Originum," lib. xvi., iv. ; the Timrcus (Bohn, 1849, Vol. II. p. 394); 
Platonis, " lo," Lugduni, 1590, pp. 145, 146; " Houzeau ct Lancaster, 
Bibliographic G6neralc," Vol. I. part i. pp. 440-442; Gco. Burgess, tr. 
of Plato's " Ion," London, 1851, Vol. IV. pp. 294-295 and notes. 

A.D. 50. Scribonius Largus, Designations, Roman physician, 
relates (Chaps. I. and XLI. of his " De Compositione Med. Medica ") 
that a freedman of Tiberius called Anthero was cured of the gout 
by shocks received from the electric torpedo, and Dioscorides advises 
the same treatment for inveterate pains of the head (" Torpedo," 
lib. ii.). Other applications are alluded to by Galen (" Simp. 
Medic./' lib. xi. ; Paulus /Bgineta, " De Re Medica/' lib. vii. ; 
"Encycl. Met./' article "Electricity/' IV. p. 41). See also 
Bertholon, " Elec. du Corps Humain," 1786, Vol. I. p. 174. 

Fahie states (" History of Electric Telegraphy," p. 172) that, 
along the banks of the Old Calabar River, in Africa, the natives 
employ the electrical properties of the gymnotus for the cure of their 
sick children. They either place the ailing child close by the vessel 
of water containing the animal, or the child is made to play with a 
very small specimen of the fish. 

REFERENCES. " La Grande Encycl., " Vol. XXIX. p. 831; 
Humboldt, " Voyage Zoologique/' p. 88; " New Gen. Biogr.," London, 


1850, Vol. XI. p. 501; " Larousse Diet.," Vol. XIV. p. 427; " Hoefer 
Biogr./' Vol. XLIII. p. 654. 

A.D. 121. The Chinese knew of old the magnet, its attractive 
force and its polarity, but the most ancient record made of the 
peculiar property possessed by the loadstone of communicating 
polarity to iron is explicitly mentioned in the celebrated dictionary 
" Choue-Wen," which Hin-tchin completed in A.D. 121, the fifteenth 
year of the reign of the Emperor Ngan-ti o* the Han dynasty. 

This dictionary contains a description of the manner in which 
the property of pointing with one end toward the south may be 
imparted to an iron rod by a series of methodical blows, and alludes 
to (" Tseu ") the " stone with which a direction can be given to the 

" In Europe it has been thought that the needle had its chief 
tendency to the north pole ; but in China the south alone is con- 
sidered as containing the attractive power " (Sir G. Staunton, 
" Account of an Embassy," London, 1797, Vol. I. p. 445). 

Le Pere Gaubil, who was sent to China in 1721 and died in 
Pekin 1759, says (" Histoire . . . dc la dynastic de Tang," in 
" Memoires concernant ..." Vol. XV) that he found, in a work 
written towards the end of the Han dynasty, the use of the compass 
distinctly marked to distinguish the north and the south. He also 
states, though doubtless erroneously, that that form was given it 
under the reign of Hian-Tsoung. 

With reference to the magnetic attraction to the pole, it is well 
to bear in mind that no allusion whatsoever is made thereto by any 
of the writers of classical antiquity. This much has already been 
stated under date B.C. 1000-907. It certainly appears to have 
escaped the attention of the ancient Greeks and Romans, whose 
admiration, according to the learned French physician Falconet 
(" Dissert. Hist, et Crit "), was excited solely by the attractive 
property of the loadstone. 

The Rev. Father Joseph de Acosta (" Natural and Moral History 
of the Indies," translation of C. R. Markham, lib. i. cap. 16) thus 
alludes to the above subject : "I finde not that, in ancient bookes, 
there is any mention made of the vse of the Iman or Loadstone, nor 
of the Compasse (aguja de marear) to saile by ; I beleeve they had 
no knowledge thereof. . . . Plinie speakes nothing of that vertue 
it* hath, alwaies to turne yron which it toucheth towards the 
north. . . . Aristotle, Theophrastus, Dioscorides, Lucretius, Saint 
Augustine, nor any other writers or Naturall Philosophers that I 
have scene, make any mention thereof, although they treat of the 

Thomas Creech, in the notes to his translation of Lucretius' 


" De Natura " says : " Nor indeed, do any of the ancients treat 
of this last (the directive) power of the loadstone . . . and Guido 
Pancirollus justly places it among the modern inventions." 

REFERENCES. Klaproth, " La Boussole," Paris, 1834, pp. 9, 10, 
66; Azuni, "Boussole," Paris, 1809, p. 30; "English Cycl." Arts 
and Sciences Vol. V. p. 420; Humboldt, "Cosmos," 1848, Vol. II. 
p. 628; John Francis Davis, "The Chinese," London, 1836, Vol. II. 
pp. 221, etc., or the 1844 edition, Vol. HI. p. 12; Geo. Adams, " Essay 
. . ." 1785, p. 428. 

A.D. 218. Salmasius, in his Commentary upon Solinus, asserts 
that, at this date, amber was known among the Arabs as Karabe, 
or Kahrubd, a word which, Avicenna states, is of Persian origin and 
signifies the power of attracting straws; the magnet being called 
Ahang-rubd, or attractor of iron. 

REFERENCES. " Encycl. Met.," Vol. IV. p. 41; Fahie, "Hist, of 
Elec. Teleg.," p. 29. 

A.D. 232-290. Africanus (Sextus Julius), an eminent Christian 
historical writer, author of a chronicle extending from the date of 
the creation to A.D. 221, as well as of an extensive work entitled 
" Kestoi," states that the Roman generals perfected a system for 
readily communicating intelligence by means of fires made of 
different substances. 

REFERENCES. Shaffner, "Teleg. Man.," 1859, p. 19; Appleton's 
" Cyclopaedia," 1871, Vol. XV. p. 333. 

A.D. 235. It is related that one Makium, who was ordered by 
the Chinese emperor to construct " a car which would show the 
South/' succeeded in doing so, and thus recovered the secret of 
manufacture which had for some time been lost. The " Amer. 
Jo urn. of Science and the Arts " (Vol. XL. p. 249) adds that, from 
this date, the construction of a magnetic car seems to have been 
a puzzle , . . and the knowledge of the invention appears to have 
been confined within very narrow limits. Humboldt says that the 
magnetic wagon was used as late as the fifteenth century of our era ; 
the " American Journal " states that it cannot be traced later than 

A.D. 265-419. What is by many believed to be the earliest 
reliable, distinct mention or actually printed record of the use of 
the magnet for navigation, appears in the justly prominent Chinese 
dictionary or rather encyclopaedia, " Poei-wen-yun-fou," wherein 
it is mentioned that there were during this period (that of the second 
Tsin dynasty) ships directed to the South by the ching or needle. 
It is likewise therein stated that the figure then placed upon the 
magnetic cars represented " a genius in a feather dress " and that, 


when the emperor went out upon state occasions this car " always 
led the way and served to indicate the four points of the compass/' 

REFERENCES. Homer at B.C. 1000-907; Davis, " The Chinese," 
Vol. III. p. 12; Klaproth, " Boussole," pp. 66, 67; Johnson, "Univ. 
Cycl.," Vol. I. p. 927, ed. 1877; Miller, " Hist. Phil. Illust.," London, 
1849, Vol. I. p. 180. 

In a later work called " Mung-khi-py-than " will be found the 
following : " The soothsayers rub a needle with the magnet stone, 
so that it may mark the south; however, it declines constantly a 
little to the east. It does not indicate the south exactly. When 
this needle floats on the water it is much agitated. If the finger- 
nails touch the upper edge of the basin in which it floats, they 
agitate it strongly; only it continues to slide and falls easily. It 
is preferable, in order to show its virtues in the best way, to suspend 
it as follows : Take a single filament from a piece of new cotton 
and attach it exactly to the middle of the needle by a bit of wax 
as large as a mustard seed. Hang it up in a place where there is 
no wind. Then the needle always shows the south; but among 
such needles there are some which, being rubbed, indicate the 
north. Our soothsayers have some which show the south and some 
which show the north. Of this property of the magnet to indicate 
the south, like that of the cypress to show the west, no one can tell 
the origin." 

A.D. 295-324. Koupho, Chinese physicist as well as writer, and 
one of the most celebrated men of his age, compares the attractive 
property of the magnet with that of amber animated by friction 
and heat. In his " Discourse on the Loadstone " he says : " The 
magnet attracts iron as amber draws mustard seeds. There is a 
breath of wind that promptly and mysteriously penetrates both 
bodies, uniting them imperceptibly with the rapidity of an arrow. 
It is incomprehensible." 

REFERENCES. Klaproth, " Boussole," p. 125 ; Humboldt, " Cosmos," 
1848, Vol. V. p. 51 ; Libri, " Hist, des Mathem.," Vol. I. p. 381, note 2. 

A.D. 304. St. Elmo (St. Erasmus) Bishop of Formiae, in ancient 
Italy, who suffered martyrdom about this date at Gaeta, is the one 
after whom sailors in the Mediterranean first named the fires or 
flames which by many are believed to be of an electric nature and 
which appear during stormy weather, either at the yardarms, mast- 
heads, in the rigging, or about the decks of a vessel. When two 
flames are seen together, they are called Castor and Pollux, " twin 
gods of the sea, guiding^he mariner to port/' and are considered by 
seamen an indication of good luck and of fine weather; but when 
only one flame is visible it is called Helena, and is supposed to be an 
evil omen, the beacon of an avenging God luring the sailor to death. 


St. Elmo's fire is also known to the Italians as the fire of SI. Peter 
and of 5/. Nicholas, to the Portuguese as San Telmo and as Corpos 
Santos, and to the English sailors as comazant or corposant. 

The historian of Columbus' second voyage says that during the 
month of October 1493 "St. Elmo appeared on the topgallant- 
masts with seven lighted tapers." It is also alluded to by Pliny, 
" Nat. Hist." lib. ii. cap. 37; by Stobaeus, " Eclogarum Phys.," I. 
514; Livy, "Hist.," cap. 2; Seneca, "Nat. Quaest.," I. i; by 
Caesar, " de Bello Africano," cap. 6 edit. Amstel., 1686; and by 
Camoens, " Os Lusiades," canto v. est. 18. 

" Last night I saw St. Elmo's stars, 
With their glimmering lanterns all at play 
On the tops of the masts and the tips of the spars, 
And I knew we should have foul weather to-day." 

Longfellow, " Golden Legend," Chap. V. 

"... Sometimes I'd divide, 
And burn in many places on the topmast, 
The yards and bowsprit, would I flame distinctly, 
Then meet and join. . . ." 

Shakespeare, " The Tempest," Act i. sc. 2. 

REFERENCES. " Nouvelle Biographic Gene"rale," Vol. XVI. p. 179; 
" Grand Diet. Univ. clu xix e siccle " of Pierre Laroussc, Vol. VII. p. 
786; Humboldt, " Cosmos," 1849, Vol. II. p. 245; Becquerel, " Traite" 
Exper.," 1834, Vol. I. p. 34, and his " R6sum6," Chap. I; Le Breton, 
" Histoire," 1884, p. 43; " La Lumidre Klectrique," Juin 1891, p. 546, 
likewise Procopius, " DC Bcllo, Vandal," lib. ii. cap. 2 ; William Falconer's 
" Observations," etc. in Vol. 111. p. 278 of " Mem. Lit. and Ph. Soc. 
Manchester," 1790 (translated in Italian, 1791), for an account of the 
flames appearing upon the spear points of the Roman legions. 

A.D. 400. Marcellus Empiricus, who was magister officiorum in 
the reign of Thcodosius the Great (379-395) states in his " De Medi- 
camentis Empiricis," Venetiis, 1547, P- $9, that the magnet called 
antiphyson attracts and repulses iron. This, adds Becquerel in 
his " Resume*," Chap. Ill, further proves that these properties were 
known in the fourth century. 

REFERENCES. Klaproth, " Boussole," 1834, p. 12 ; Harris, " Magnet- 
ism," I and II ; " New Gen. Biogr. Diet.," London, 1850, Vol. IX. p. 475. 

A.D. 425. Zosimus (Count), Greek historian, who lived under 
Theodosius II (401-450), " sometime advocate of the Treasury of the 
Roman Empire," wrote the history of that empire from the reign 
of Augustus to the year A.D. 410, wherein he is the first to call atten- 
tion to the electrolytic separation of metals, i. e. that the latter 
acquire a coating of copper upon being immersed in a cupreous 
solution. * 

REFERENCES. Gore, " Art of Electro-Met.," 1877, p. i, or the London 
1890 edition, p. B; "A treatise on Electro-Metal.," by Walter G. Mc- 
Millan, London, 1890, p. 2; " Journal des Savants " for June 1895, pp. 
382-387; Dr. Geo. Langbein's treatise, translated by W. T. Brannt, 


Chap. I; " Nouvelle Biogr. Gen." (Hoefer), Vol. XLVI. p. 1022; Schoell, 
" Hist, de la Litt6r. Grecque " ; Pauly, " Real Encycl. . . . Alterthums " ; 
"Biogr. Univ." (Michaud), Vol. XLV. p. 606; " Nouveau Larousse, 1 ' 
Vol. VII. p. 1429. 

A.D. 426. Augustine (Aurelius, Saint), the most prominent of 
the Latin Fathers of the Church, finishes his " De Civitate Dei/' 
which he began in 413, and which is considered the greatest monu- 
ment to his genius. He was probably the most voluminous writer of 
the earlier Christian centuries. He was the author of no less than 
232 books, in addition to many tractates or homilies and innumerable 
epistles (" Books and their Makers, during the Middle Ages/' Geo. 
Haven Putnam, New York, 1896, Vol. I. p. 3). In the " De Civitate 
Dei "he tells us (Basilcse, 1522, pp. 718-719) of the experiment alluded 
to herein at A.D. 1558. This had better be given in his own words 
(" De Civitate Dei/' lib. ii. cap. 4, Dod's translation, Edinburgh, 
1871) : 

" When I first saw it (the attraction of the magnet), I was 
thunderstruck (vehcmentcr inhorrui), for I saw an iron ring attracted 
and suspended by the stone; and then, as if it had communicated 
its own property to the iron it attracted and had made it a sub- 
stance like itself, this ring was put near another and lifted it up, 
and, as the first ring clung to the magnet, so did the second ring 
to the first. A third and fourth were similarly added, so that 
there hung from the stone a kind of chain of rings with their hoops 
connected, not interlinking but attached together by their outer 
surface. Who would not be amazed by this virtue of the stone, 
subsisting as it does, not only in itself, but transmitted through 
so many suspended rings and binding them together by invisible 
links ? Yet far more astonishing is what I heard about the stone 
from my brother in the episcopate, Severus, Bishop of Milevis. He 
told me that Bathanarius, once Count of Africa, when the Bishop 
was dining with him, produced a magnet and held it under a silver 
plate on which he placed a bit of iron ; then as he moved his hand 
with the magnet underneath the plate, the iron upon the plate 
moved about accordingly. The intervening silver was not affected 
at all, but precisely as the magnet was moved backward and forward 
below it, no matter how quickly, so was the iron attracted above. 
I have related what I have myself witnessed : I have related what 
I was told by one whom I trust as I trust my own eyes." 

REFERENCES. " Vie dc St. Augustin," by Poujoulat, second edition, 
Paris, 1852, and by G. Moringo, 1533; Possidius, also Rivius, " Vitae de 
St. Angus."; L. Tillcmont, " Memoires Eccles.," 1702 (the i3th Vol. 
of which is devoted to an elaborate account of his life and controversies) ; 
Bindemann, "Der heilige Augustinus," 1844; Butler, "Lives of the 
Saints " ; Lardner, " Credibility of the Gospel History," Vol. VI. part i. pp. 
58-59, and Vol. X. pp. 198-303 ; Neander, " Geschichte der Christlichen 


Religion und Kirche "; Pellechet, " Catalogue General des Incunables," 
1897, pp. 339-370 ; Alfred Weber, " History of Philosophy/' tr. by Frank 
Thilly, New York, 1896, pp. 188-198; " St. Augustine's City of God/ 1 
tr. by Rev. Marcus Dods, Edinburgh, 1871, Vol. II. book xxi. pp. 420. 
457 " Journal des Sea vans/' Vol. XIV. for 1686, pp. 22-23, mentions 
the above-named experiment and the effect of diamond on the loadstone ; 
"Journal des Savants" for Sept. 1898; Ueberweg, "Hist, of Philo- 
sophy" (Morris' tr., 1885), Vol. I. pp. 333-346. 

A.D. 450. Aetius (Amidenus), Greek physician, informs us 
(Aetii, op. lib. xi. cap 25) that " those who are troubled with the 
gout in their hands or in their feet, or with convulsions, find relief 
when they hold a magnet in their hand. Paracelsus recommended 
the use of the magnet in a number of diseases, as fluxes, haemorrhages, 
etc., while Marcellus (" Steph. Artis. Med. Princip./' II. p. 253) and 
Camillus Leonardus (" Speculum Lapidum," lib. ii.) assert that it 
will cure the toothache. 

During the year 1596, Jean Jacques Vuccher published " De 
Secretis " (" The secrets and marvels of Nature "), wherein, at 
p. 166, he thus advises the application of a loadstone for curing the 
headache : " La pierre d'aymant appliquee et misc contre la teste, 
oste toutes les douleurs ct maux d'icelle-ce quc nostre H oiler ius escrit 
comme I' ay ant prins [sic] des commentaires des anciens." And, in 
1754, Lenoble constructed magnets that were readily used in the 
treatment of various diseases (" Practical Mechanic," Vol. II. 

P- *7*)- 

The application of the magnet for the relief of various complaints 

is treated of at pp. 334-335, Vol. II. of J. Ennemoser's " History of 
Magic," where will be found a list of works containing accounts 
of the oldest and most extraordinary known cures on record. 
Additional references to cures by the magnet, as well as with iron 
or amber besides those named more particularly at A.D. 1770 
(Maxim. Hell) and at A.D. 1775 (J. F. Bolten) are to be found in 
the following works : 

Avicenna, " Canona Medicinas," Venice, 1608, lib. ii. cap. 470; Pliny, 
"Natural Historic," Holland tr., 1601, Chap. IV. p. 609; Hah Abas, 
"Liber totius medicinae," 1523, lib. i. ; Serapio Mauritania, " De 
simplicibus medicinis," Argent., 1531, pp. 260, 264; Antonius Musa 
Brasavolus, " Examen omnium simplicium medicamcntorum," Rome 
I53^ Santes de Ardoynis Pisaurensis, " Liber de Venenis " (Venetiis, 
1492), Basilae, 1562; Oribasius, " De facilitate metallicorum," lib, xiii. ; 
Joannes Baptista Montanus, " Metaphrasis Summaria . . ." 1551; 
G. Pictorio, in his poem published at Basel in 1567, or in the 1530-1531 
editions of " Marbodei Galli Poetac vetustissimi de lapidibus pretiosis 
Enchiridion " (J. A. Vander Linden, " De Scriptis Medicis, 1651, 
pp. 210-211); Rhazes, " De simplicibus, ad Almansorem," Venetiis, 
1542, lib. ult. cap 295 ; Joannes Lonicerus (author of " De Meteoris," 
Frankfort, 1550), " In Dioscoridas Anazarbei de re medica ..." 1543, 
p. 77; Matthseus Silvaticus, " Opus Pandectarum Medicinae," 1498, 
1511, 1526 (1541), cap. 446; Petrus de Abano, " Tractatus de Venenis/' 
1490, also " Conciliator DifTerentiarum Philosophorurfl ;| (1496), 1520, 


1526; Nicolaus Myrepsus, "Liber de compositione medicamentorum," 
1541, 1549, 1567, 1626; Joannes Manardus, " Epistolarum medicina- 

lium " (Basilae, 1549) ; Dioscorides Pedacius, " De materia medica," 
Spengel ed., 1829, Chap. CXLVII. or in the 1557 ed. p. 507, or in the 
translation made by Joannes Ruellius in 1543; Nicholas Monardus, 
" Joyfull newes out of the new-found worlde," Frampton tr., London, 
1596; Arnaldus de Villa Nova, " Tractatus de virtutibus herbarum " 
(i499) Amatus Lusitanus, " Enarrationes Eruditissimae," 1597, pp. 
482, 507; Gabriellus Fallopius, " De Simplicibus Medicamentis purgenti- 
bus tractatus," and " Tractatus de compositione Medicamentorum," 
Venetiis, 1566, 1570; Joannes Langius, "Epistolarum Medicina- 
lium . . .," Paris, 1589; Petri Andriae Mathiolus, " Commentarii . . . 
Dioscoridis . . . de materia medica," 1598, p. 998; W. Barlowe, 
" Magneticall Advertisements/' 1616, p. 7, or the 1843 reprint; Albertus 
Magnus, " De Mineralibus " (1542), lib. ii. ; Oswaldus Crollius, " Basilica 
Chimica," 1612, p. 267; Nicolaus Curtius, " Libellus de medica- 
mentis . . ." Giessae Cattorum, 1614; Rudolphi Goclenii Goclenius 
" Tractatus de magnetica curatione," 1609, 1613, also " Synarthosis 
Magnetica," Marpurgi, 1617 (Eloy " Diet. Hist, de la He'd.," Vol. II. 
pp. 359-360) ; Luis de Oviedo, " Methodo de la Coleccion y Reposicion 
de las medicinas simples," 1622, p. 502; W. Charleton, " A Ternary of 
Paradoxes of the Magnetic cure of Wounds/' 1650 ; the " Pharmacopoeia 
Augustana/' Augsburg, 1621, p. 182 ; Patrick Brydone in " Phil. Trans./' 

Vol. L. pp. 392, 695, and Vol. LXIII. p. 163. Consult also the abridg- 
ments by Hutton, Vol. XL p. 262, Vol. 3 

otheca Therapeutica," London, 1878. 

ments by Hutton, Vol. XL p. 262, Vol. XIII. p. 415; Waring's " Bibli- 

" The magnet . . . gives comfort and grace, and is a cure for 
many complaints ; it is of great value in disputes. When pulverised, 
it cures many burns. It is a remedy for dropsy " (I Sermone . . . 
di F. Sacchetti . . . 18). 

According to Bias, " the magnet reconciles husbands to their 
wives/' and Platea remarks that " it is principally of use to the 
wounded/' while Avicenna says "it is a remedy against spleen, 
the dropsy and alopecian." 

For additional information, consult J. Beckmann's " History 
of Inventions/' Bohn, 1846, Vol. I. p. 43, and the article " Som- 
nambulism " in the " Encyclopaedia Britannica." 

A.D. 543. The Japanese say that at about this date the Mikado 
received from the Court of Petsi in Corea " the wheel which indicates 
the south." 

REFERENCE. Knight, " Mechanical Dictionary," Vol. II. p. 1397. 
" A.D. 658. As shown by Kai-bara-Tok-sin, in the " Wa-zi-si/ 1 
the first magnetic cars were constructed during this year in Japan ; 
the loadstone was not, however, discovered in that country until 
A.D. 713, when it was brought from the province of Oomi (Klaproth, 
"Boussole," p. 94). The " Journal of the Franklin Institute" 
(Vol. XVIII. for 1836, p. 69), gives a description and illustration 
of one of these magnetic chariots, taken from the thirty-third volume 
of the Japanese Encyclopaedia. 

A.D, 806-820. Between these dates, under the Thang dynasty, 


were first made the cars called Kin-Koung-yuan, which were mag- 
netic chariots similar to those previously known, but bearing in 
addition a drum and a bell. Both the latter were struck at regular 
intervals by an erect male figure placed at the head of the car 
(" American Journal of Science and the Arts," Vol. XL. p. 249). 

A critic named Tchen-yn admits, as already indicated herein 
under the A.D. 235 date, that the knowledge of the mode of con- 
struction of the magnetic cars was by no means general. " I know 
well," adds he, " that, at the time of the Thang, under Hien-toimg 
(who ascended the throne 806 A.D., and reigned seventeen years) 
a chariot was made which always showed the four parts of the earth, 
in imitation, it was said, of those constructed at the time of Hoang- 
ti. . . . Upon it stood the figure of a spirit, whose hand always 
pointed to the south." 

REFERENCES. " Mdmoircs concernant 1'histoirc . . ." by Saillant 
et Nyon, Paris, 1776-1788, Vol. XIII. p. 234; Klaproth, " Boussolc," 
p. 72. 

A.D. 968. Kung-foo-Whing is said to have invented a method 
of transmitting sound through wires by means of an apparatus called 
thumthsein, although no trace whatever of the latter is to be found 
in any of the numerous authorities herein quoted. 

A.D. 1067-1148. Frode (Ari Hinn Ara Hin or the Wise), 
Arius Polyhistor (Ari Prestrinha Frodi Thorgillsun), Icelandic 
historian, " than whom there is no higher authority," was the first 
compiler of the celebrated " Landnanm-Bok," which contains a 
full account of all the early settlers in Iceland, and is doubtless the 
most complete record of the kind ever made by any nation. 

In it, he says that, at the time Floke Vilgerderson left Rogoland, 
in Norway, about A.D. 868, for another visit to Gardansholm (Ice- 
land), of which he was the original discoverer, " the seamen had no 
loadstone (leider stein) in the northern countries," thus showing, 
according to Prof. Hansteen, that the directive power of the needle 
and its use in navigation were known in Europe in the eleventh 
century. In this manner is given the first intimation of the know- 
ledge of the mariner's compass outside of China. The passage 
quoted above is by many supposed to be an interpolation, for it 
is not found in several manuscripts, and it has even been asserted 
(" Br. Ann./' p. 296), that its origin does not antedate the fourteenth 
century, thus strengthening the claims of the French in behalf of 
Guyot De Provins. 

REFERENCES. " Landnama-Bok," Kioebenhaven, 1774, T. I. chap. ii. 
par. 7 ; John Angell, " Magnet, and Elect.," 1874, p. 10 ; Lloyd, " Magnet- 
ism," p. 101 ; " Pre-Col. Disc, of Am.," De Costa, pp. xxiii and n ; " Bull, 
de G6ogr.," 1858, p. 177; " Good Words," 1874, p. 70; Klaproth, 


" Boussole," p. 40; Hansteen, "Inquiries Concerning the Magnetism 
of the Earth," and " Magazin fur Naturvidenskaberne Christiana," I. 
2, " Encycl. Metrop.," Vol. III. p. 736; the 1190-1210 entry herein. 

A.D. 1111-1117. Kcou-tsoungchy, Chinese philosopher and 
writer, gives, in the medical natural history called " Pen-thsao-yan- 
i," written by him under the Soung dynasty, the earliest description 
of a water compass found in any Chinese work, viz. : " The magnet 
is covered over with little bristles slightly red, and its superficies is 
rough. It attracts iron and unites itself with it; and, for this 
reason, it is commonly called the stone which licks up iron. When 
an iron point is rubbed upon the magnet, it acquires the property of 
pointing to the south, yet it declines always to the east, and is not 
perfectly true to the south. ... If the needle be passed through 
a wick or a small tube of thin reed, and placed upon water, it will 
indicate the south, but with a continual inclination towards the 
point ping, that is to say, East five-sixths South." 

In the " Mung-khi-py-than," also composed under the Soung 
dynasty, it is stated that fortune-tellers rub the needle with the 
loadstone in order to make it indicate the south. 

REFERENCES. Comptes Rendus, Vol. XIX. p. 365; "Am. 
Journal Sc. and Arts," 1841, XL. p. 248; Davis, " The Chinese," 1844, 
Vol. III. p. 13 ; Bccquerel, " Elec. et Mag.," p. 58; Klaproth, " Boussole," 
pp. 67-69, 95; Humboldt," Cosmos," 1849, Vol. II. p. 656, and Vol. V. 
p. 52; Knight, " Mech. Diet.," Vol. II. p. 1397; Humboldt, " Examcn 
Critique," Paris, 1836, Vol. III. p 34. 

A.D. 1160. Eustathius, Archbishop of Thessalonica, relates in 
his commentary on the Iliad of Homer, that Walimer, father of 
Theodoric and King of the Goths, used to emit sparks from his body ; 
also that a certain philosopher observed sparks occasionally issuing 
from his chest accompanied with a crackling noise. 

Leithead tells us that streams of fire came from the hair of Ser- 
vius Tullius, a Roman King, during sleep, when he was about seven 
years of age (Dionysius, " Antiq. Rom." lib. iv. ; Pliny, "Hist. 
Nat." lib. ii. cap. 37) ; that Cardan alludes to the hair of a certain 
Carmelite monk emitting sparks whenever it was rubbed backward 
("De Rerum Varietate," lib. viii. cap. 43); that Father Faber, 
in his " Palladium Chemicum," speaks of a young woman whose 
hair emitted sparks while being combed, and also refers to allusions 
made in the same line by Thomas Bartholinus, " De Luce Ani- 
malium," Lugd. 1647, p. 121; Ezekiel di Castro, " De Igne Lam- 
bente "; Johann Jacob Hemmer, "Trans. Elec. Soc. Mannheim," 
Vol. VI ; and Phil. Trans., Vol. V. pp. i, 40. 

REFERENCES. Eustath in Iliad, E. p. 515, ed. Rom.; "Encycl. 
Brit.," 1855, VIII. p. 571 ; Priestley, " History of Electricity," London, 
J 775 PP- *28, 129; Phil. Trans., abridged, Vol. X. pp. 278, 343, 344, 


A.D. 1190-1210. Guyot de Provins, minstrel at the Court of 
the Emperor Frederick I (Barbarossa), gives the first French mention 
of the water compass in a manuscript " politico-satirical " poem 
entitled " La Bible/' to be found in the Bibliothque Nationale. 
It is therein said that sailors were at that time in the habit of rubbing 
needles upon the ugly brown stone called mariniere, " to which iron 
adheres of its own accord/' and that, as soon as placed afloat upon a 
small piece of straw in the water, the needles would point to the 
North. The passage alluding to the compass has been copied by 
D. A. Azuni, member of the Turin Academy of Sciences, from the 
original manuscript, and is given entire, with the French trans- 
lation, at p. 137 of his " Dissertation . , ." second edition, Paris, 
1809 ; 

"De notre pdre 1'apostoile (le pape) 
Us 1'appellent la tresmontaigne 

Par la vertu de la marinie're, 
Unc pierre laide et brumidre, 
Ou li fers volontiers se joint. . . ." 

The passage is also given by Klaproth, at pp. 41-43, and by Venan- 
son, at p. 72, of their respective works already cited; likewise by 
Bertelli, p. 59 of his Memoir published in 1868. 

Sonnini (C. S.), in Buff on " Mineraux," Vol. XV, p. 100, says 
that Azuni has successfully established the claims of France to the 
first use of the mariner's compass. Other writers herein, who follow 
in their order, will doubtless show to the satisfaction of the reader 
that, as the Arabs possessed it at the same time, they must have 
received it from the Chinese, and therefore transmitted it to the 
Franks during the first Crusades, as stated by Klaproth in his 
" Lettre a M. de Humboldt," Paris, 1834, pp. 64-66. 

REFERENCES. Becquerel, " Trait6 d'Elect. et de Magn./' Vol. I. 
p. 70 ; Bertelli, " Mem, sopra P. Peregrine," 1868, p. 59; R. M. Ferguson, 
" Electricity," 1867, p. 43; J. F. Wolfart, " Des Guiot von Provins," 
Halle, 1861 ; "Bulletin de Geographic," 1858, p. 177; Barbazan, 
" Fabliaux," Vol. II. p. 328 : Becquerel, " Resume"," Chap. Ill; Hum- 
boldt, " Cosmos," 1849, Vol. II. pp. 628-630; " Amer. Journ. Sc. and 
Arts," Vol. XL. p. 243; " Guiot von Provins," in Meyers Konvers. Lex., 

Vol. VIII. p. 81 ; " Encycl. Met.," Vol. III. p. 736, gives a verbatim copy 
of part of Guyot's poem, with its literal translation ; Libri, " Hist, des 
Sc. Math&n.," Paris, 1838, Vol. II. p. 63; " Encycl. Met./' Vol. XII. 

p. 104; J. Lorimer, " Essay on Magnetism," London, 1795; Sir John 
Francis Davis, " The Chinese," Vol. III. p. xii, or " China/' London, 
1857, pp. 184-187; Whewell, " Hist, of Ind. Sc./' Vol. II. p. 46. 

A.D. 1204-1220. Jacobus de Vitry, Cardinal Bishop of Ptole- 
mais, in Syria, one of the Crusaders, thus speaks of the compass in his 

qtti^tcnnrru^ ^ 

de IVovins ll i a Bilile " In the Bibliothrque Nntionale, Pans, 


"Historic Hierosolimitanae/' 1 cap. 89 and gi : " The Magnet [diamant, 
as shown under the B.C. 321 date] is found in the Indies. . . . 
It attracts iron through a secret virtue ; after a needle has touched 
the loadstone, it always turns toward the North Star, which latter 
is as the world's axis and is immobile, while the other stars turn 
around it ; that is why the compass is so useful to navigators, valde 
necessarius navigantibus. ' ' 

REFERENCES. Azuni, " Boussole," p. 140; Venanson, " Boussole," 
p. 77 ; Klaproth, pp. 14, 43-44 ; Poggendorff, Vol. II. p. 1 184 ; Becquerel, 
" Elec. ct Magn.," Vol. I. p. 70; Knight, " Mech. Diet./' Vol. II. p. 1397. 

A.D. 1207. Neckam (Alexander of), 1157-1217, Abbot of St. 
Mary's, alludes in his " De Utensilibus " to a needle carried on board 
ship, which, being placed upon a pivot and allowed to take its own 
position of repose, " showed mariners their course when the Polar 
Star is hidden." In another work, " De Naturis Rerum " (lib. ii. 
cap. 89), he writes: " Mariners at sea, when, through cloudy weather 
in the day, which hides the sun, or through the darkness of the night, 
they lose the knowledge of the quarter of the world to which they 
are sailing, touch a needle with a magnet which will turn around until, 
on its own motion ceasing, its point will be directed toward the 
North (Chappell, "Nature/' No. 346, June 15, 1876; Thomas 
Wright, " Chronicles and Memoirs . . . Middle Ages/' 1863). 

REFERENCES. "La Grande Encyclopedic," Vol. XXIV. p. 898; 
Hcefer, " Nouv. Biogr. Ge"nerale," Vol. XXXVII. p. 570. 

A.D. 1235-1315. Lully (Raymond) of Majorca (often con- 
founded with Ramond Lull, who is the author of several alchemical 
books and of whose biography very little is known), was, by turns, 
a soldier, a poet, a monk, a knight, a missionary and a martyr, and 
is referred to by Humboldt as " the singularly ingenious and eccen- 
tric man, whose doctrines excited the enthusiasm of Giordano Bruno 
when a boy, and who was at once a philosophical systematizer and 
an analytical chemist, a skilful mariner and a successful propagator 
of Christianity/' 

During the year 1272 Lully published his " De Contemplatione," 
which was followed by " Fenix de las maravillas del orbe " in 1286, 
and by his " Arte de Naveguar " in 1295. In these he states that 
the seamen of his time employed instruments of measurement, sea 
charts and the magnetic needle (tenian, los mareantes, instrumento, 
carta, compas y aguja), and he describes the improvements made in 

1 The " Historiae Hierosolimitanoe " relates all that passed in the king- 
dom of Jerusalem from 1177 to the siege of Ptolemais inclusively (" History 
of the Crusades/' Joseph Francois Michaud, translated by W. Robson, Vol. 
I. p. 456). 


the astrolabes (designed for the determination of time and of geo- 
graphical latitudes by meridian altitudes and capable of being 
employed at sea) from the period that the astrolabium of the 
Majorcan pilots was in use. 

The application of the astrolabe to navigation, Mr. Irving says 
(" Hist, of the Life ... of Columbus/' London, 1828, Vol. I. pp. 
76-78), was " one of those timely events which seem to have some 
thing providential in them. It was immediately after this that 
Columbus proposed his voyage of discovery to the crown of 

Lully also confirms the fact that the Barcelonians employed 
atlases, astrolabes 1 and compasses long before Don Jaime Ferrer 
penetrated to the mouth of the Rio de Ouro, on the western coast 
of Africa, which was about fifty years after the date of the last- 
named work. 

Incidentally it may be added that Lully, posing as an alchemist, 
is said to have in the presence of the English King, Edward I, 
converted iron into gold, which latter was coined into rose-nobles 
(Bergman, "Hist, of Chem."; Louis Figuier, " L'Alchimie et les 
Alchimistes," Paris, 1860, p. 148). 

REFERENCES. For Lul. Raimon, or Raymunrlus, or Lullius (1235- 
1315), " Diet, of Philos. and Psych.," by J. M. Baldwin, New York, 1902, 
Vol. II. p. 32; Humboldt, "Cosmos," 1849, Vol. II. pp. 629-631, 670, 
and 1859, Vol. V.p. 55; Miller, " Hist. Phil. 111.," London, 1849, Vol. II. 
p. 217; Whewell, " Hist. Ind. Sc.," 1859, Vol. 1. p. 169; also his " Phil, 
of the Ind. Sc.," London, 1840, Vol. II. pp. 320-323; " Journal des 
Savants," 1896, pp. 342, 345-355; " Biogr. G6ner.," article " Lulle " ; 
Helffcrich, " Raym. L.," Berlin, 1858; Nicolai Eymerici, " Direct Inq.," 
Rome, 1578; Bolton, " Ch. Hist, of Chem.," pp. 1000 1001 ; Ueberweg, 
"Hist, of Philos." (Morris' translation, 1885), Vol. I. pp. 457, 459; 
" Lives of Alchemysiical Philosophers," by Arthur Edward Waitc, 
London, 1888, pp. 68-88, in which is given, at pp. 276-306, an alpha- 

1 THE ASTROLABE. For descriptions of astrolabes used by the Arabs, 
see pp. 338-357 of " Matriaux . . . Sciences Mathem.," by L. A. Sedillot, 
Paris, 1845, and for plates showing the construction of the compass and other 
nautical instruments of his time, consult Crcscentio (Bartolomeo), " Nautica 
Mediterranea," Rome, 1602. 

The invention of the astrolabe is ascribed to Hipparchus, and Chaucer's 
description in 1391 is the first book treating of it in time and importance. 
In Chaucer's " Treatise on the Astrolabe," he declares his intention of making 
use of the calendars of the reverend clerks John Somer and Nicholas of Lynne. 
His reference here is to the Minorite astronomer John Somer Semur Somer- 
arius and to the Carmelite Nicholas, who was lecturer in theology at Oxford 
(" Diet, of Nat. Biog.," Vol. LIII. p. 219). 

See the illustrated description of an astrolabe by S. A. lonides, in " Geog. 
Journ." for Oct. 1904, pp. 411-417, accompanying references to other works 
treating of astrolabes ; " Le Courrier du Livrc," Quebec, 1899, Vol. III. p. 159, 
alluding to three works on the astrolabe of Samuel Champlin and Geoffrey 
Chaucer; "Canada," by J. G. Bourinot, London, 1897, p. 79, with cut of 
Champlin 's lost astrolabe made in Paris during 1603; also the entry for 
Nicholas Bion to be found herein at A.D. 1702. 


'0 oomitriy ao mane eft ineiHo q*o cur; 
91110 wn it adifti'c -ac tenet* -et sple 
:m ob boc alio nomine ajpeltant 
i Afptrllacue auc eft magnes ab 
e auto* eft Nicanoei t inou regcu*- 
[w tnurnic- vt in bifpania quoqj-b? 
f fotacue oemofirac fcj etbiopum 
uctnacroontJ-Teroa hi ecbto bo? 
a croaoern alexanotte-O,ahicu 
ifteretia pma ma fit an FeTa 

. <?ui reperiunt* m magndia *t 

.^w -rnffi fit ni^ri-Boediw xvro plue 
babet rttfft colons: y nign-Qui trcace hiuenitt 
nicer eft Wa feTU:|oeo fine vi'nbua cxr^rri 
mw i maonefu cannious neq3 jrcr^bce frrrura 
fcnwHfoj p'""'^'-Ptbi'opiau Uue funa rat .pen' 

c f iota ptnum rvpcrtu:clauia crepioaz^ 
f ?io\ brrco-cu io< magnea armcnca 
ea paflTim eft hiuentue- Eft ut colo 

rapcu: woe et eo vulgua fcrrii t>iufi ajptl; 
' eTabcrt crrot? 

Ob ante magnfl_Hji f mcjic^ eft- <|alro wagift 
ccniUoa-iLArrft^nlce mtAioo Upioibo* / 
lapfe magnca fen? crabit:et fctriebrQieite eft 
twtc lapioi g Tt'rttitetn occulta:<joe imrft ill -tpfn 
iBooec ao <e p oia cotga foUoa tftcnr p aera<6< x 
o qoio< tpius angulo trabft frrru ej ofpofito 
gcangulo f ugat ipm Angulue ^cfduo.fui v; 
tm eft atfrabrbi frrrfi :eft ao jaron -t -feprfmoj 
Aagoloe *ut oflpofitue ao afon i mrnoi<f Itjqj 
jpneeariF babct mjgneo:<p fi ajpjrimeo et ferni} 
ao aognlu ipiue-.qui jaron- i -fcptf tnone rcfpt'f ; 
ao (epcfcTtonc fc coucrnt St Tero ao an^nlu op 
pofitufmu aMnoucrie:ao afo-i-mrnoie (c mo? 
wbtr-Qt ft bate fcrro fcrru af jao ao^>^maue - 
ii tpm oe magnece ao fe era bit hoc ct Uptfaoa 
maa faat juouj m<D conoemnac magnrrie . 
nc - <7pe mijaculo magnctia in fern amacff 
|< <Otnguftinu oe cioiratc oei-i^t -libio- 
k Agnere lapioi nottimns cfle mirabdem 
I ferti raptor? -Q.uoo eft ^mu vioi vebe 
mnnecr cjtbo?rui -O.ui|pV cmteb! a U- 
n'M Strrru anoln rapcu acqj fu fpenfu oeni^ti 
yferro quoo rapuerjc:rtm foJ Deot'Oec mune 
9 fectffirrJoJanulua alten aomotne efcennoe 
49^tfeenou>Stcaccri1ic ec tera'us re quartuo : 
la^fibi'p mtMMa drcaUe nextetnon Fplicatoiuj 
Mcrmfrc:fcD aoberenrt'S rxtriwfrcua: ^nafi ca 
tfccna prprocrar aulo^ Qo tftam rim Up ; 
o*6 ftoprm:oe flb won Tola mcrat:feo ettaj 
f toe f fpki crAba* - murfbiltbus ca vfcolie 
c.S<t Mko mtrabit? cfhqoooa ff* 
> len> mi1knicao oc ifto U* 
e warrant: o 

moorfca^ iij arg#to ftwofo irf 
urncc cocitatiflimo cuffa c necrfa 
J Upw ab bo*e:fupra ferru rap**ba^ a bpfec 
oixi ^ ipv rofpext :oijd a ab Aim auoiw.cui can 
9? P vioenro creoioi Quto ecia oe ifto magnc* 

(b'anr opmcnnir rflr oialiaHiifliim eft q 
hi qpojoam teplo Lapio 
6C in camera 

niolacru ferreu aerie Hiiro n 
pioem quaft numfe potcftare prawwt-qwale aK 
quio eti'am t lacetna venerie oe UpiiDC abrftoab 
artifice fieri potuit-quoo gmoWn* mirarenf -In 
quo laptoe mi^ eft :q? cu ignem nollu babet ft 
piiuraccepto came: he aroet al*eno:iptejcthgiri 
no poftit-ftc ergo ec hi magnecr;qoof> nefdo S f 
fcnhbili foibinone ftipiuUiajafi!LS c>ttrc: ^ r 5 * 
rapit- -rr)- </pe watte tptug m titrg 

cxcrna (rpyafcorfoea* 

\gnc8 gignit* circa tttoocceatii:apao 
I trogooirjs magnaw babes virtu m -6C 
Tel ut fpititu in attrabenoo frriji:nBro 
roomd vt pdofa oeiiptfttincra qoattt* 
ox angulo0 oomus carbone* atoe'crs ponont:ee 
Upioe minute pofu fupmicxfit Bcq} encr 6c o 
coloe eoa5 qui afftitK: aaertutivt a MM 

paunceo fag fr raere oorofi -Habct jftc v*r p" 
gatoii9 et ob boc y opei eft molfii OM?:gtoT 
Ucuoinc wo0at;6i o*e ba*orep vcnrrf mf- 
fbjajuZaPf' ctU ** rMMfpctf8 flbHa fanae> 
CLC^r^Su. *#,*,&*, **$** m ripa 
marte int>e rrprrtf coin* natwra caboa eft et ftc 

ca m tercio graoo Diem cd2 gat/mas n> li 
oc bptoibuetq? nacite naoe frrreo* claoovbabc 
ccmt Mac no aaoewe oacerr Nee vtta frtri aiw 
ftciu inra babere Naai e* OUeatovcameajpbv 
qiunte:oef ctaoi et qVxjuio firm f ea babje^j m^ 
ranie accrabttne* fiu fl?iirtare-Hi< lap poorf 
ojtue: optima eft ei qni oe frrro Mpcaeo wine 
r Jtos eft Et e qai HifiniunWr 5 f<iimjiiM catba 
ptafmaobua vri empUftita c6mixroe: valet & G 
gietaj vetgtaoifi extrabenou oe vttlnoY Ruffnf 
oi^ic eunoj lapioe meUcc4tCflflLfttere->nm<>te 
6C raffMctone eie *ttkrre <maVrar7ii vo fap- 
AVagnre eft calioua et ftccwMb cerciograont wi 
let pzedpue vulneract:qaia feri? attrabir pal* 
a is ceil 'ue oacua in face* firntcctU: wlec cocrai 
yoropifim et fptane er*k>pgfil . AttraDtc e ffe 
gma et meUncolu- . 
cfi aourtc fit enutbtee:et vtrraicfMi fi 
tue rtUue MeUm eft iger ibtbicM r 
rue atir abfterfwus^ mfioificicf 

reooei:f terrf-fco ec eoa crocfi> ftc ' 

Vincent do r.enuvnm " S fl p r uluni Naturals." 
takftii from thr 1^73 < of>v, no\v in the Bibliof h^qu^, Sir Onrvi?-vp, Pan' 


betical catalogue of all works on Hermetic Philosophy and Alchemy; 
Humboldt, " Examen Critique," Paris, 1836, Vol. I. pp. 7, 283. 

For the Dominican Giordano (Jordano) Bruno, see " The Course 
of the History of Modern Philosophy," by Victor Cousin, New York, 1872, 
Vol. II. pp. 56-58 ; " English Cycl." (Biography), Vol. I. p. 979; Libri, 
" Hist, des Sc. Math6m.," Paris, 1838, Vol. I. p. 141 ; " La Grande 
Encycl.," Vol. VIII. pp. 258-259, reviewed in the " London Athenaeum," 
Nov. 28, 1903, p. 711. 

A.D. 1250. Vincent de Beauvais, another Crusader, writes his 
" Mirror of Nature " (" Bibliotheca Mundi, Speculum Ma jus, Specu- 
lum Triplex ") for St. Louis and his consort, Marguerite de Provence, 
and speaks therein of the polarity of the needle (" Speculi Naturalis," 
Vol. II. lib. ix. cap. 19). He cites Aristotle as having written a 
book, " De Lapide," containing a notice of the magnet's use in naviga- 
tion, but none of Aristotle's known works appear to have the passage 
given. Cabseus and others rather judge that book to be the work 
of some Arabic writer (Thomas Creech, " Lucretius "). Libri, 
however, says that a translation or abrege of the MS. of " De Lapide " 
is at the Paris Library MSS. Arabes, No. 402 (" Hist, des sc. 
Mathe'm.," Vol. I. p. 101). 

Le Sieur Petrus Peregrinus de Maricourt (see A.D. 1269) alludes 
clearly to the polarity of the needle in an epistle, " Ad Sigerum de 
Foucaucourt Fontancourt militem de Magnete," written toward 
the end of the thirteenth century, and the magnet is, at about the 
same period, referred to in the following lines of the minstrel Gauthier 
d'Espinois, contemporary of the Count of Champagne, Thibaud VI, 
who lived before the middle of the thirteenth century (" Hist. 
Lit. de la France/' 1856, Vol. XXIII chansonniers pp. 576, 831) : 

" Tout autresi (ainsi) comme I'aimant de^oit (cletourne) 
L'aiguilette par force de vertu 
A ma dame tot le moiit (monde) rctennue 
Qui sa beaute" connoit et apercoit." 

Vincent de Beauvais applies the terms zohron and aphron (not 
afori) to the south and north ends of the needle, and Mr. J. Klaproth 
(" Lettre a M. de Humboldt sur 1'invention de la Boussole," Paris, 
1834, PP- 49~5 I ) savs these words are Arabian, notwithstanding 
assertions made to the contrary by Martinus Lipenius in his " Navi- 
gatio Salomonis Ophiritica Illustrata," 1660, cap. v. sec. 3, as well 
as by many others who have written upon the compass. 

REFERENCES. Sonnini, in Buffon, " Mine'raux," VIII. p. 76; Hum- 
boldt, " Cosmos," 1859-1860, Vol. II. pp. 253-254, and Vol. V. p. 54; 
Azuni, " Boussole," pp. 41, 42, and 44 ; Klaproth, p. 13 ; Miller, " History 
Philosophically Illustrated," London, 1849, Vol. I. p. 179, note. " Simonis 
Maioli . . . Dies Caniculares, seu Colloqui," XXIII. 1597, p. 783 ; 
Dr. F. Ueberweg, " Hist, of Phil." (Morris' translation, 1885^, Vol. I. 
PP- 433* 435 "Journal des Savants " for Feb.-Mar. 1892; ''Vinceuti 
Bellov. Speculi Naturalis," Vol. II. lib. ix. cap. 19. 


It may be added that the " Mirror of Nature " l is one of the 
four pretentious works which, however popular they may at any time 
have been and however powerfully they may have influenced the 
age in which they were written, do not, says Humboldt, fulfil by 
their contents the promise of their titles. The other three are the 
" Opus Majus " of Roger Bacon, the " Liber Cosmographicus " 
(Physical Geography) of Albertus Magnus, and the " Imago Mundi " 
(Picture of the World) of Cardinal Petrus de Alliaco Pedro de 
Helico Pierre d'Ailly. (For the celebrated French theologian 
Pierre d'Ailly (1350-1420), Chancellor of the Paris University, see 
" Histoire de TAstronomie," J. F. C. Hcefer, Paris 1873, p. 290; 
" Paris et ses historians/ 1 Le Roux de Lincy et L. M. Tisserand, 
Paris, 1867, p. 402 (etched portrait); "New Int. Encycl./' New 
York, 1902, Vol. I. p. 231; " La Grande Encycl./' Vol. I. pp. 952- 
954; also works relating to him by Aubrelicque, Compiegne, 1869, 
by Arthur Dinaux, Cambrai, 1824, and by Geo. Pameyer, Strasbourg, 
1840.) The last-named work by Pierre d'Ailly was the chief authority 
at the time and exercised a greater influence on the discovery of 
America than did the correspondence with the learned Florentine 
Toscanelli (Humboldt, " Cosmos," 1849, Vol. II. p. 621; " La lettre 
et la carte de Toscanelli/' par Henri Vignaud, Paris, 1901, or " Tosca- 
nelli et Christophe Colomb " in the " Annales de Geographic/' No. 
56, n e annee, Mars 15, 1902, pp. 97-110; "Toscanelli in der 
alteren und neurcn Columbus literatur," E. Geleich Mitteil. Wien, 
Vol. XXXVI. 10, 1893). 

Two of the above-named works partake of the encyclopaedic, 
and in this class likewise properly enter the twenty books " De 
Rerum Natura " of Thomas Cantapratensis of Lou vain (1230), the 
" Book of Nature," by Conrad Van Meygenberg of Ratisbon (1349), 
and the great " Margarita Philosophica," or " Circle of the Sciences," 

1 Vincent de Bcauvais desired to facilitate the pursuit of learning by 
collecting into one large work everything useful to be known in art, history, 
natural science and philosophy, " so that the great edifice of science should 
be once more presented with all its halls and porticos forming one harmonious 
whole, domed over, if we may so express ourselves, with theology and sur- 
mounted by the Cross" ("Keel. History," Rohrbacher, Vol. XVIII. p. 444, 
quoted at pp. 86 and 89 of " Christian Schools and Scholars," London, 1867). 
His " Speculum Majus," of which the most trustworthy edition was that 
published at Strasbourg in ten large folio volumes during 1473, consisted of 
three parts : " Speculum Naturale," 32 books and 3718 chapters; " Speculum 
Doctrinale," 17 books and 2374 chapters; " Speculum Historiale," 31 books 
and 3793 chapters, a total of 80 books and 9885 chapters (" Encycl. Britan.," 
ninth ed., Vol. XXIV. p. 235; " Paris et ses historiens," Paris, 1867, P- Ioo 
note, indicating that, according to Fabricius, the " Speculum Naturale " men- 
tions as many as 350 different names of Arabian , Greek and Latin authors) . The 
influence of the mediaeval encyclopaedias of Vincent de Beauvais, Brunette 
Latini and Bartholomew Anglicus on Western Literature of the fourteenth 
and fifteenth centuries is presented in Liliencron's " Festrede," Miinchen, 
1876 (J. E. Sandys, "Classical Scholarship," 1903, p. 558). 


of Father Gregorius Reisch (1486). (Sec the different entries con- 
cerning the last-named work at pp. 663-664 of Libri's Catalogue, 
Vol. II, for 1861.) One more work bears title " Picture of the 
World " " r Image du Monde " written by Gautier de Metz, a 
French poet of the thirteenth century, on the lines of still another 
encyclopaedic " Imago Mundi," by Honorius d'Autun (Neubauer, 
" Traductions historiques de 1'Image du Monde," 1876, p. 129; 
Haase, likewise Fritsche, " Untersuch . . . der Image du Monde/' 
1879 and 1880; Fant, " r Image du Monde, etudie dans ses diverses 
redactions franchises," Upsal, 1886. Chas. Bossut, in his " Hist. 
Generale des Mathem.," Paris, 1810, Vol. I. p. 229, also mentions 
an encyclopaedic " Mirroir du Monde," in Turkish Gian Numah ; 
" The Final Philosophy," Chas. W. Shields, New York, 1877, p. 133). 

A.D. 1254. Albertus Magnus, of the family of the Counts of 
Bollstadt, one of the most prominent philosophers and theologians 
of the Middle Ages, likewise alludes to the book " De Lapide " 
already referred to at A.D. 1250, and to the Arabic terms zohron 
and aphron, giving to these words, however, a wrong interpretation. 1 

Albertus Magnus (1193-1280) was justly styled Doctor Univer- 
salis, for, from the time he entered the Order of the Dominican 
Friars in 1221, as well as throughout his teachings, mainly at 
Bologna, Strasburg, Freiburg and Cologne, he displayed an intimate 
acquaintance with almost all branches of the natural sciences. He 
was especially well versed in philosophy, astronomy and mathe- 
matics in rebus magicis cxpertus fuit and was justly considered 
by many as the most erudite philosopher of his generation ; an 
encomium of the very rarest kind, when such rivals as Alexander of 
Hales and Thomas Aquinas could dispute the palm with him. 
Natural science, says Humboldt (" Cosmos," 1860, Vol. II. pp. 243- 
245), was intimately associated with medicine and philosophy 
among the learned Arabs, and, in the Christian Middle Ages, with 
theological polemics. The latter, from their tendency to assert 
an exclusive influence, repressed empirical inquiry into the depart- 
ments of physics, organic morphology, and also astronomy, the last 
being, for the most part, closely allied to astrology. The study of 
the comprehensive works of Aristotle, introduced by Arabs and by 

1 In his " De Mineralibus " (Lyons ed. 1651, Treat. III. lib. ii. cap. 6, 
p. 243), Albertus says : " One angle ... is to the zohron (north) . . .but 
another angle of the magnet opposite to it attracts to the aphron (south)." 
Cardan (" De Subtilitatc," Lugduni, 1663); Salmanazar (Book II. " of the 
Egyptian Hermitus, 19 stars, and 15 stones, and 15 herbs, and 15 figures " : 
" on one side the magnet attracts iron, on the other side repels it) ; Pielro 
d* Abano (" Conciliator Differentiarum," Mantua?, 1472, Diff. 51, p. 104, 
or the 1520 Venice edition, p. 73 : " know that a magnet is discovered which 
attracts iron on one side and repels it on the other "). 


Jewish Rabbis, had tended to lead to a philosophical fusion of all 
branches of study (Jourdain, " Sur les traductions d' Aristotle," 
p. 256 ; Michael Sachs, " Die Religiose Poesie der Juden in Spanien/' 
1845, s. 180-200), and hence Ibn-Sina (Avicenna), Ibn-Roschd 
(Averroes), Albert us Magnus and Roger Bacon passed for the 
representatives of all the knowledge of their time. The fame which 
in the Middle Ages surrounded the names of these four great men 
was proportionate to the general diffusion of this opinion of their 

Albertus was the first scholastic who systematically reproduced 
the philosophy of Aristotle with reference to the Arabian com- 
mentators and who remodelled it to meet the requirements of 
ecclesiastical dogma. The cause of the new development of 
scholasticism in the thirteenth century was the translation, for the 
first time, into Latin of the complete works of Aristotle, which 
latter only came to the knowledge of the scholastics (1210-1225) 
through the agency of Arabian philosophy. The leading Arabian 
philosophers were Avirenua, Averroe's and Avempace, whilst, in 
the new movement, Albertus Magnus, St. Thomas Aquinas and 
Joannes Duns Scotus represented the culmination of scholastic 
thought and its consolidation into a system. 1 

Albertus, according to Humboldt, must be mentioned as an 
independent investigator in the domain of analytic chemistry, 
improving as he did the practical manipulation of ores, and having 
actually enlarged the insight of men into the general mode of action 
of the chemical forces of nature. His " Liber Cosmographicus " is 
a singularly able presentment of physical geography. He also 
wrote very extensively upon plant-life, and is the author of com- 
mentaries upon practically all the physical works of the Stagirite, 
although in the commentary on Aristotle's " Historia Animalium " 
he is said to have closely followed the Latin translation of Michael 
Scotus from the Arabic. Albertus doubtless owes the praise 
conferred upon him by Dante less to himself than to his beloved 
pupil Aquinas, who accompanied him from Cologne to Paris in 
1245, and returned with him to Germany in 1248. 

1 Albertus was the first schoolman who lectured on the Stagirite, and who 
in his unbounded range of knowledge comprehends the whole metaphysical, 
moral, physical, as well as logical system of Aristotle (" History of Latin 
Christianity/' by the Rev. H. H. Milman, London, 1857, Vol. VI. pp. 270, 
277). The first knowledge of the Aristotelian philosophy in the Middle 
Ages was acquired by translators of Aristotle's works out of the Arabic. 
The Arabian commentators were considered the most skilful and authentic 
guides in the study of his system (" Hist, of the Reign of Charles V," Robertson 
and Prescott, Philad., 1883, Vol. I. p. 308; Conring, " Antiq. Acad./' Diss. 
III. p. 95, Supplem. p. 241 ; Murat, " Antiq. Ital.," Vol. III. p. 392 ; " Aristotle 
and the Arabs," at pp. 257268 of " Classical Studies in Honour of Hy. 
Drissler/' New York, 1894 ; Humboldt, " Cosmos/' 1860, Vol. II. pp. 215-216). 


" Quest i, che m' e* a dcstra piu vicino, 
Frate e maestro fummi; ed' esse Alberto 
E' di Cologna, cd io Thomas d' Aquino." 

" II Paradiso," X. 97-99. 

Gilbert refers to Albertus in " De Magnete," Book I. chaps, i. 
and vi., also in Book II. chap, xxxviii. 

REFERENCES. " Albert the Great," by Dr. Joachim Sighart, translated 
by Rev. Fr. J. A. Dixon, London, 1876; " Journal des Savants" for 
May 1848 (" D'un ouvrage ine'dit de Roger Bacon " : Albertus is called 
Magnus in magia naturali, major in philosophia, maximus in theologia ; 
Tritheim, " Annales Hirsaug.," Vol. I. p. 592) ; for May 1851, pp. 284-298 
passim ; for Nov. and Dec. 1884; for June 1891 (" Traditions . . . du 
Moyen Age "), for Feb. 1892 (" Traductions des ouvrages alchimiques 
. . . arabes ; 1'alchimie dans Albert le Grand," pp. 126-128), as well as 
for March 1892; " Histoire des Sciences," par. F. M. L. Maupiccl, Paris, 
1847 (Albert le Grand), Vol. II. pp. 1-95; Barlhol. Glanvilla, " Liber, 
de Proprietatibus Rcrum," Book VII; Pcllechct, "Cat. Gen. des 
Incunables," 1897, pp. 57-81 ; Bolton, " Chronol. Hist, of Chemistry," 
I ^97> P- 917 > " The Great Schoolmen of the Middle Ages," by W. J. 
Townscnd, London, 1881, Chap. X. pp. 165-173; " Siger dc Brabant 
et 1'Averroisme Latin an xiii siecle," par. Pierre Maudonnct, Fribourg, 
1899, pp. li~lii notes passim ; Walton and Cotton, " Complete Angler," 
New York and London, 1847, Pt. I. p. 62; " New Int. Encycl.," New 
York, 1902, Vol. I. p. 279; "Aristotle and the Arabs," by Win. M. 
Sloane, pp. 257-268 of " Classical Studies in Honour of Henry Drissler," 
New- York, 1894; Sonnini, Buffon, " Mine'raux," V11I. p. 76; Enfield, 
"History of Philosophy," Book VII. chap iii. ; Humboldt, "Cosmos," 

1849, Vol. II. pp. 617619; Qu6tif and Echard, " Scriptor. Orel. Predicat," 
Vol. I. p. 171; Brande, "Manual," 1848, Vol. I. p. 8; Dr. Fricdrich 
Ueberwcg, " History of Philosophy," tr. by Geo. S. Morris, New York, 
1885, Vol. I. pp. 436-440; J. B. Haurcau, " La Philos. Scholas.," Paris, 

1850, Vol. II. pp. 1103 ; Dr. W. Windelband, " History of Philosophy," 
auth. tr. by Jas. H. Tufts, New York, 1853, pp. 311, 313; "Diet. la Medccme," N. F. J. Floy, Mons, 1778, Vol. I. pp. 63-65; 
" Christian Schools and Scholars," Augusta Th. Drane, London, 1867, 
pp. 69, etc. 

Of authors prominently cited by Albertus Magnus, or alluded to 
in the foregoing, the following accounts are given : 

Alfarabius Alpharabius Abn Nasr Muhammed . . . al Farabi 
(A.D. 870-950), celebrated Arabian philosopher, native of 
Turkestan, one of whose most important works, " Liber de 
scientiis . . ." is an encyclopaedia, giving in five chapters 
a classification of all known sciences. It is said he could speak 
in as many as seventy languages (J. C. L. S. de Sismondi, 
" Historical View of the Literature of the South of Europe/' 
London, 1846, Vol. I. p. 65). He was a most zealous student 
of Aristotle, and is one of the authors (Aristotle, Avicenna and 
Al-gazel being the others) from whom David the Jew compiled 
his work " De Causis." Of the latter, Albertus gives a long 
description, and it is likewise cited both by Thomas Aquinas 
and Bacon, " Opus Majus," J. H. Bridges, Oxford, 1897, 


Vol. I. pp. 100-101, who quotes : Jourdain, pp. 112, 138-145, 
184-185, and Wiistenfeld, " Geschichte," Gottingen, 1840. 

REFERENCES. Larousse, " Diet. Univ.," Vol. I. p. 195; " Biog. 
Gen.," Vol. I. pp. 951-952 and the references therein given; " New 
Int. Encycl.," New York, 1902, Vol. I. pp. 329-330; M. Steni- 
schncider, " Al-Farabi," St. Petersb., 1869; Friedrich Dieterici, 
" Al-Farabi's Philosophischc Abhandlungen," Leyden, 1890, and 
his " Die Philosophic der Araber," Leyden, 1892, 1895 ; Dr. Friedrich 
Ueberweg, " History of Philosophy," tr. by Geo. S. Morris, New 
York, 1885, Vol. I. pp. 407, 411-412. 

Al-gazel Al-Ghazzali (1058-1111), another prominent Arabian 
philosopher, who was for a long time professor of theology in 
the Bagdad University, and became the ruler of the Sufis 
or Mystics, in whose behalf he travelled extensively. 1 

The biography in " La Grande Encyclopedic," Vol. XVIII. 
pp. 899-900, gives a full account of his most important works 
and several valuable references, his principal book being " The 
Destruction of the Philosophers," which called forth a reply in 
one of the two most important works of Averroes, entitled 
" The Destruction of Destruction." 

Tholuck says : "If ever a man hath deserved the name, 
Ghazzali was truly a divine, and he may justly be placed on 
a level with Origen [Fr. Dietericii, " Die Philosophic der 
Araber," Leipzig, 1876, pp. 28-31], so remarkable was he for 
learning and ingenuity, and gifted with such a rare faculty 
for the skilful and worthy exposition of doctrine." 

REFERENCES. " Kncycl. Britann.," ninth ed., Vol. I. p. 510; 
" New Int. Kncycl.," Vol. I. p. 337; " The Alchemy of Happiness," 
by Mohammed Al-Ghazzali, tr. of Henry Guy Homes, Albany, 
1873, pp. 67, also Dr. Friedrich Ueberwcg, " History of Philo- 
sophy," tr. by Geo. S. Morns, New York, 1885, Vol. I. pp. 407 and 

Alexander of Hales, so called because he made his studies at the 
Monastery of Hales in Gloucestershire (d. 1245), called 
" Doctor Doctorum " or " Doctor Irrefragabilis," also " Theo- 
logorum Monarcha," was a celebrated English theologian. 
He became a noted professor of philosophy and then a lecturer 
among the Franciscans, being succeeded in turn by his pupils, 
John of Rochelle (who died in 1271) and John Fidanza, better 

1 See " Omar Khayyam and his position in the History of Sufism," to 
be found at end of the singularly attractive volume entitled " Sufi Interpreta- 
tions . . ." by C. H. A. Bjerregaard, New York, 1902. For an account of 
Omar Khayyam Kheyyam (died in 1123), who was a very distinguished 
Persian philosopher, mathematician, poet and astronomer, also Director of 
the Bagdad Observatory, consult the ninth ed. of the " Encycl. Britann.," 
Vol. XVII. pp. 771-772; " La Grande Encycl.," Vol. XXV. pp. 372-373; 
" The Universal Cyclopaedia," Chas. Kendall Adams, New York, 1900, 
Vol. VIII. p. 588. 


known as Bonaventura (1221-1274). He was the first scholastic 
acquainted with the whole of the Aristotelian works and with 
the Arabian commentaries upon them. The only authentic 
work of his is the ponderous " Summa Universae Theologiae " 
(best edition, Venice, 1576), much of the substance and even 
the text of which is said to be found in the " Summa " of 
Aquinas and in the " Speculum Morale " of Vincent de 

REFERENCES. " Diet, of Nat. Biog.," London, 1885, Vol. I. 
p. 271; " La Grande Encycl.," Vol. II. p. 121; Fleury, "Hist. 
Eccles,," Vol. XX; Du Boulay, " Hist, de 1'univ. dc Paris," 
Vol. L; Stoeckl, " Gcschichte d. Phil. d. Mittelalters," 1865, Vol. II. 
pp. 317-326; " Chambers 's Encycl. ," 1888, Vol. I. p. 148; Ninth 
"Encycl. Britann.," Vol. XXI. p. 427; "Diet, of Philos. and 
Psychol.," by J. M. Baldwin, New York, 1901, Vol. I. pp. 30, 124; 
Wadding, " Annales Orel. Min."; " New Int. Encycl.," New York, 
1902, Vol. L pp. 321-322; Fabricius, " Bibl. Lat. mediae et inf. 
aetat.," Vol. I. p. i; "Biog. Ge"n.," Vol. I. pp. 923-927; J. B. 
Haur6au, " Hist, de la Philos. Scholastiquc," 1880, Vol. I. part ii. 
pp. 131-141, or the 1850 Paris eel., Vol. I. p. 418; Dr. Fricdrich 
Ueberweg, " History of Philosophy," tr. by Geo. S. Morris, New 
York, 1885, Vol. I. pp. 433 434; Thos. Fuller, "Church History 
of Britain," London, 1837, Vol. I. pp. 398-402. 

Avempace Abn Bekr Muhammed Ibn Yahga, Arabic philosopher, 
physician and poet (d. 1138), introduced the peripatetic 
philosophy into Andalusia, and wrote commentaries on 
Aristotle, in addition to a book, " Conduct of the Individual," 
alluded to by Averroes, likewise several works upon medicine 
and music. 

REFERENCES. " The History of Philosophy " of Dr. Friedrich 
Ueberweg, tr. by Geo. S. Morris, New York, 1885, Vol. I. p. 414 
(Munk, "Melanges de Philosophic," pp. 383-410); "New Int. 
Encycl.," New York, 1902, Vol. II. p. 281 ; Brockelmann, " Ges- 
chichte dcr Arabischen Litteratur " ; James Gow, " A Short History 
of Greek Mathematics," Oxford, 1884, pp. 203-205 for Arabic 
learning in Spam. 

Averroes Muhammed Ibn Ahmed Ibn-Roschd, " the commen- 
tator," " the last great thinker of the Moslem world in the 
West " (1120-1198), was an illustrious Moorish philosopher and 
physician best known by his commentaries and paraphrases 
upon Aristotle. It is said Averroes was recommended to the 
Calif as the fittest person to expound the works of Aristotle 
and make them accessible to all (" History of Classical Scholar- 
ship/' J. E. Sandys, Cambridge, 1903, p. 541). 

REFERENCES. Renan, "Averroes et 1'Avcrroisme," Paris, 
1852; " Diet, of Philos. and Psychology," by J. M. Baldwin, New 
York, 1901, p. 96; " Journal des Savants " for Feb. 1892, pp. 118- 
126 passim; Antonii, " Bibl. Hisp. Vetns," Vol. II. pp. 240-248; 
Wustenfeld, " Geschichte d' Arab. A. V. N.," 1840; " Engl. Cyci.," 


Vol. I. pp. 448-449; Eloy, "Diet. Hist, de la M6decine," Vol. I. 
pp. 220-221; Dr. Friedrich Ueberweg, " History of Philosophy," 
tr. by Gco. S. Morris, New York, 1885, Vol. I. pp. 407-408, 415-417; 
Dr. W. Windelbancl, " History of Philosophy," auth. tr. by 
Jas. H. Tufts, New York, 1893, pp. 317, 338; " Dictionnaire des 
Sciences Philosophiques," par une societ^ de savants, Paris, 1852, 
Vol. III. pp. 157-172. 

" Euclide geometra e Tolommeo, 
Ippocratc, Avicenna, e Galieno 
Avcrrois che '1 gran comento feo." 

(Dante, " Divina Commcdia," Inferno, Canto IV.) 
Augusta Th. Drane places Averroes at the head of all Arabic 
interpreters of Aristotle, and incidentally says it would be 
hard to determine his religion, for he scoffed alike at Chris- 
tianity, Judaism and Mahometanism. 

Avicenna Abohalis, Ibn Sina, Al Rayis or " the chief " (980-1037), 
" the greatest thinker of the Moslem world in the East," a 
native of Aschena, near Bokhara, was the most celebrated 
physician of his day. In the " Journal des Savants " for March 
1892, " 1'Alchimie d'Avicennc " is very extensively treated of 
at pp. 179-189, and Avicenna is said (" Journal des Savants " for 
February 1892, pp. 118-128) to be the alchemist most frequently 
alluded to in the " Speculum Naturale " of Vincent de Beauvais. 
His writings were so highly esteemed that the Sultan of Egypt 
ordered them to be translated by the celebrated Jewish Rabbi, 
Maimonides Moses Ben Maimon (born at Cordova, in Spain, 
about A.I). 1132). 

REFERENCES. Casiri, " Bibl. Arab. Hispan.," Vol. 1. p. 268; 
Hottinger, " Bibl. Quadnp.," 1664, pp. 256, 261 ; " Diet, des Sciences 
Philosophiques," pliris, 1852, Vol. Ill pp. 172-178; S. Klein, " Dis- 
sertatio," 1846; Houzeau et Lancaster, " Bibl. Gen.," Vol. I. 
pt. i. pp. 469-470; "The Edinburgh Encycl.," 1830, Vol. III. 
p. 107; " Engl. Cycl.," Vol. I. pp. 449-450; Gilbert, " De Magnete," 
Book I. chaps, i., viii., xv. and Book II. chap. ii. ; Eloy, " Diet. 
Hist, de la Medccine," Vol. I. pp. 223-227; Dr. Friedrich Ueberweg, 
" History of Philosophy," tr. by Gco. S. Morris, New York, 1885, 
Vol. I. pp. 407, 412-413; Dr. W. Windelband, " History of Phil- 
osophy," auth. tr. by Jas. II. Tufts, New York, 1893, p. 317; 
" New Gen. Biog. Diet.," London, 1850, Vol. XII. p. 43; " Diet, of 
Philosophy and Psychology," by J. M. Baldwin, New York, 1901, 
Vol. I. p. 97; " Lectures on Metaphysics and Logic," by Sir Wm. 
Hamilton, London, 1860, Vol. II. pp. 167, 171; "Historical View 
of the Literature of the South of Europe," by J. C. L. S. de Sismondi, 
London, 1846, Vol. 1. 

Duns Scotus, John, " Doctor Subtilis " (born about 1270, died in 
1308), a very prominent schoolman, who was educated at 
Oxford, entered the Order of St. Francis, and became one of 
the great founders of scholastic thought. But little is known 
as to his origin, except that a monument, erected to his memory 


at Cologne during the year 1533, bears the following : " Scotia 
me genuit, Anglia me suscepit, Gallia me docnit, Colonia 
(Ger mania) me tenet." 

As shown by Luc. Wadding in his " J. Duns-Scoti Opera/ 1 
twelve volumes, published at Lyons in 1639, his works are 
quite numerous, the most important consisting of questions 
and commentaries on the writings of Aristotle and on the 
" Sentences " of Peter Lombard. 

Joannes Duns Scotus is very frequently referred to by 
Dr. W. Windelband (" History of Philosophy," auth. tr. by 
Jas. H. Tufts, New York, 1893, pp. 311, 314-315, 321-326, 
344), and is mentioned as " the aaitest and deepest thinker of 
the Christian Middle Ages, who brought the germs of the philo- 
sophy of the will, contained in Augustine's system, to their 
first important development, and so from the metaphysical 
side gave the impulse for a complete change in the direction 
of philosophical thought." 

REFERENCES." Diet, of Nat. Uiog.," London, 1888, Vol. XVI. 
pp. 216-220; Kilter's " Gcschichlc dor Philosophic " ; Dr. Fricdrich 
Uebcrweg, " History of Philosophy," tr. by Gco. S. Morris, New 
York, 1885, Vol. I. pp. 452-457; Laroussc, " Diet. Univ.," Vol. VI. 
P- 1398, containing an extensive list of references; Alfred Wcbcr, 
" History of Philosophy," New York, 1896, pp. 2.16-252 (tr. of 
Frank Thilly) ; " Biog. Gen.," Vol. XV. pp. 256-257; " La Grande 
Fncycl.," Vol. XV. pp. 71-72; Pluanski, " Thdsc sur Duns Scot," 
Pans, 1887; "The Great Schoolmen of the Middle Ages," W. J. 
Townsend, London, 1881, " Duns Scotus," Chap. XV. ; J. 13. llaurca.ii, 
" La Philosophic Srholastiqne," Pans, 1850, Vol. II. pp. 307-417. 
Consult also the biographies written by Fci chins, Berti, Caveili 
and Veglensis, and, lor a complete exposition of his system, C. 
Werner, " Die Scholastik des Spateren Mittelalters," Vienna, 1881, 
Vol. I; " Illustrations of the History of Medieval Thought," 
by R. L. Poole, London, 1884. 

A.D. 1254. Bacon (Roger), " the most remarkable man in the 
most remarkable century of the Middle Ages " (K. H. Plumptre, 
1866), sometimes called Friar Baron (1214-1294), a Franciscan 
monk of Ilchester, who devoted himself to the study of science at 
Oxford and Paris and " whose deep penetration into the mysteries 
of nature justly entitled him to the appellation of " The Wonderful 
Doctor/' treats of the magnet and of its properties at pp. 383-384 
of his " Opus Minus " (J. S. Brewer, " Fr. R. Bacon," London, 1859), 
and dwells upon the loadstone as a miracidum in parte notum. 

Bacon is also the author of many other works, the most im- 
portant of which are his " Opus Ma jus " and " Opus Tertium " (first 
published in English respectively in 1733 and 1859), the last named 
having been originally written out for Pope Clement IV and intended 
to serve as a preamble to the " Opus Minus " and " Opus Ma jus/' 


although it was later than either in the date of its composition 
(Brewer, op. cit. p. xliv) . Leland has said that it is easier to collect the 
leaves of the Sybil than the titles of all of Bacon's works. At pp. 218- 
222, Vol. Ill, of the ninth edition "Encyclopaedia Britannica" will be 
found a synopsis of the six parts into which Jebb divided the " Opus 
Majus " (pronounced by Whewell " at once the Encyclopaedia and 
the Organum of the thirteenth century "), and likewise an account 
of his other works, besides numerous references to leading authorities. 

In the "Opus Tertium," the last of the series of three which, it is 
said, were all completed in about eighteen months, he speaks more 
than once of A.D. 1267 as being the then current year. This happens 
to be but two years prior to the date of the epistle of Pierre Pelerin 
de Maricourt, the great experimentalist (Petrus Peregrinus), whom 
he commends (p. Ixxv) in the following words : " For there are only 
two perfect mathematicians, Master John of London l and Master 
Peter of Maricourt, the Picard . . . who is worth more than any 
of them ... of whom I have fully written in my ' Opus Minus ' and 
of whom I shall write more in its proper place." Of this Master 
Peter, whom he calls one of his most illustrious pupils, he further 
says that, being " struck with the genius that dawned in his counten- 
ance," he took him under his protection from his fifteenth year and 
instructed him so carefully that he outstripped all of his contem- 
poraries both at Oxford and at Paris. " There is no one," adds he, 
" who knows so much of the root of Philosophy ..." and one 
who, " through experiment, gains such knowledge of things natural, 
medical, chemical; indeed, of everything in the heavens or earth." 

Gilbert states (" De Magnete," Book I. chap, i.) that many 
believe the work of Peter Peregrinus on the magnet owes its origin 
to the opinions of Roger Bacon. And in the Appendix I to Brewer's 
work p. 537, chap. vi. " De Experimentis Mirabilibus " will be 
found Bacon's views fully exposed on the operations of the magnet. 

REFERENCES. " Fratris Roger! Bacon, O. M. Opus Majus," S. Jebb, 
Londini, 1733; " L'Alchimie et les Alchimistes," Paris, 1860, by Louis 
Figuier, who, at p. 97, calls Roger Bacon La plus vaste intelligence que 
I'Angleterre ait possedSe ; " Kssai Th6orique . . . des connaissances 
humaines," par G. Tiberghien, Bruxelles, 1844, Vol. I. pp. 388-389; 
Dr, Geo. Miller, " History Philosophically Illustrated," London, 1849, 
Vol. II. p. 112; Humboldt, " Cosmos," New York, 1860, Vol. II. pp. 43, 
229, 241, 245, 318; " Journal des Savants " for March, April, May and 
August 1848, also for December 1859 and February 1891; "Origin, 
Progress and Destiny of the English Language and Literature," by 
John A. Weisse, New York, 1879, pp. 28, 233234, 236, 424; " History 
of Latin Christianity," by Henry Hart Milman, London, 1857, Vol. VI. 

1 Identified by some authors as John Peckham, a disciple of St. 
Bonaventura, who became Archbishop of Canterbury from 1278 to 1293 
(" Christian Schools and Scholars," by Augusta Th. Drane, London, 1867, 
Vol. II. p. 172). 

ft /a pffwior /*wc c/t to 

crt M miart^u vvue femwO*? <jwdte a&wir 

/HteU Jii Burner J< Wtme ^^^ ^nec 


itcriirtncmt ?c fcdnc^ ttc . fnjif la i^tnic ^ lainuUr 

r htutitfnr 0- /U ^ iv 4V . cttc a /hm^M^ ortk ttr 
ut ^Ut la prcutvc 

a- Muif /c^ti nra 


i^c JlatucccwinncntcUc ^ 

/C^ 010*0 ?MHC rf WCttt - 

po w ft n4^citt /c^ inatJ 

^ cpmmcnr iipbfj> 

nruiu'lto Latini. (> Li livres ilou Tu'sDr " 
taken fioni the T ^tli reutuiy Ms. in th- l^hhotlx^tnu' Nat inn.-iU , 


pp. 279-303; "Opus Majus," by John Henry Bridges, Oxford, 1897, 
Vol. I. pp. xxv-xxvi, and Vol. II. pp. 203-206, containing a valuable tabu- 
lated list of facts relating to Bacon's life; " Roger Bacon," par Emile 
Charles, Paris, 1861, pp. 15-19, 339-391 ; " De Bibliorum Textibus," 
by Dr. Hody; Wm. Whewell, " History of the Inductive Sciences," 
1858, Vol. I. pp. 512-522, or 1859, Vol. I. pp. 209-219, 245-246, 512- 
522, Vol. II. p. 55; also "Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences," 
London, 1840, Vol. II. pp. 323-337; " The Philosophical Magazine," 
Vol. XII. pp. 327-337; Enfield, Book VII. chap. iii. ; "Catalogue 
G6ne"ral des livres imprimis de la Bibliothe"que Nationale," Paris, 1901, 
Vol. VI. pp. 256-259; " Encyclopaedia Britarmica," Edinburgh, 1842, 
seventh edition, Vol. I. as per Index at p. 17; " Lcs Editions de Roger 
Bacon " in the " Journal dcs Savants " for July 1905. 

A.D. 1260. Brunette Latini, b. 1230, d. 1294, " maestro del 
divino poeta Dante," celebrated Florentine encyclopaedist, composes 
his " Tesoro/' rewritten in French (" Livres dou Tresor "), wherein 
he speaks clearly of the compass as at some time likely to be useful 
at sea. But he adds : " No master mariner dares to use it, lest he 
should fall under the supposition of being a magician ; nor would 
even the sailors venture themselves out to sea under his command 
if he took with him an instrument which carries so great an appear- 
ance of being constructed under the influence of some infernal spirit." 

The " Tesoro " is said to be a kind of abridgment of the Bible, 
of Pliny, of Solinus, of the Ethics of Aristotle, of the rhetorical 
writings of Cicero and of the political works of Aristotle, Plato and 
Xenophon ("New Biog. Diet.," London, 1850, Vol. IX. p. 205). 
It would be well to consult " La Table Gen era le des bulletins . . . 
Socie'te's Savantes," par M. Octave Teissier, Paris, 1873, p. 44, 
regarding the collection of different manuscripts of Brunette's 
extensive work. 

REFERENCES. Davis, " The Chinese," 1844, Vol. III. p. xi; Vcnan- 
son, "Boussole," pp. 75, 148-154; Azuni, " Boussole," p. 139; Klap- 
roth, " Boussole," pp. 45-46; " Journal des Savants " for January 1865, 
also for January and February 1880; "The Monthly Magazine" for 
June 1802; Libri, " Hist, des Sciences Math6matiques," Paris, 1838, 
Vol. II. pp. 64, 152-156. 

A.D. 1265-1321 .Dante Durante (Alighieri) , illustrious 
Italian poet, regarded as the greatest poetical genius that flourished 
between the Augustan and Elizabethan ages, composed, during his 
exile, the " Divina Commedia," which was the first poem written in 
the Italian language. In Canto XII. vv. 28-30 of his " Paradise/ 1 
translated by Dr. Plumptre, he thus alludes to the mariner's 
compass : 

" Then from the heart of one of those new lights, 
There came a voice which made me turn to sec, 
E'en as the star the needle's course incites." 

Guido Guinicelli (1240-1276), priest and scholar, and whom 
Dante considered not only the greatest of living Bolognese poets, 


but his master in poetry (Note : " Purg.," XXVI. Vol. I. p. 327, 
v. 92) refers to the nautical compass in nearly the same terms as 
Dante ("Rime. Ant./' p. 295). He adds: "The mountains of 
loadstone give the virtue to the air of attracting iron, but, because 
it (the loadstone) is far off, (it) wishes to have the help of a similar 
stone to make it (the virtue) work, and to direct the needle toward 
the star" (P. L. Ginguene, "Hist. Lit. d' Italic," Vol. I. p. 413; 
Guido delle Colonne lo Colonna da Messina Mandella Lett, 
p. 81, Florence, 1856). 

At pp. 35 and 130 of Bertelli's " Pietro Peregrino di Maricourt," 
Roma, 1868, Memoria prima, appear verses said to be by Guinicelli 
and by Guido delle Colonne, judge of Messina, who flourished about 
1250, and which are translated literally into English as follows : 

" In those parts under foreign skies 
Are the mountains of loadstone, 
Winch give power to the air 
To attract iron, but, because distant , 
It requires to have assistance from similar stones, 
To bring it into use, 
And direct the needle towards the star. 

The learned relate that the loadstone 

Could not attract 

Iron by its power, 

Were it not that the air between them aids ; 

Although the calamite is a stone, 

The other existing stones 

Are not so powerful 

To attract, because they have not the influence." 

The " Paradise," translated by A. J. Butler, London, 1885, 
Canto XII. v. 29, reads : " Si mosse vocc, die I' ago (needle) alia stella," 
and Fazio degli Uberti in the " Dittamondo " (about 1360) has 
" Quel gran disio, che mi, traeva addictro come ago a calamita " (III. 2). 

REFERENCES. Hcefcr, " Nouv. Biog. Gen.," Vol. XIII. pp. 21-50, the 
last-named page containing an unusual number of citations ; " Biblogr. 
Dantesca," by Colomb de Batmcs, Prato, 1845-1846; " La Grande 
Ency eloped ie," Vol. X11I. pp. 887-901, embracing many additional 
references ; the note at p. 154 of Plumptre's " Dante," also Humboldt's 
" Cosmos," 1849, Vol. II. p. 629; Libri, " Hist, des Sc. Math.," Paris, 
1838, Vol. II. pp. 164, etc.; Frederic C. Harrison, " The New Calendar 
of Great Men," London, 1892, pp. 310-315. 

A.D. 1266. It is shown by Th. Torffaeus (Latin for Thormodr 
Torfason), an Icelandic scholar (b. 1636, d. 1719), who published 
" Historia Rerum Norvegicarum " (Hafniae, 1711, IV. c. 4, p. 345), 
that at this date the northern nations were acquainted with the 
mariner's compass. In the " History of Norway " here alluded to, 
he mentions the fact that the poem of the Icelandic historian, Jarl 
Sturla (Snorri Sturlason) written in 1213, on the death of the Swedish 


A gloria dicollui che tutto mouc 
pcrluniuerfo penetra c rifplcnde 
in una parte piu emen altroue 

Nctcfel che piu dela fua lucie prende 
fu io euidf cofe che ndire 
ne fa ne puo chi dilafu difcende 

PcrcK* a rrQndefe ilfuo difir - 
i, of no mf-llefo fi profundta tanro 
rl-c c 7 i :l ioh rremc-na non puo ire 

\VrTr>-nf\ c;mntio c'el rc^nofinto 
rJ!.i a i i rr< -r tc potei far tKft-'ies 
Cira on rrntcra del mic canto 

C 1 buono n polio alultiir'O lauoro 
fm>i Hoi tuo uaior fi fat to uifo 
coruc dimandi dir UrrMto alloro 

li.fina qui lun gio^o o'lpdrrafo 
afTai mi fu rnaor chon .imcnduc 
rnc uopo cntrar ncl arringo rimjfo 

Entr i nJ petto mio cfpirj tuc 
G come cjuando marfia traeCti 
dclla uagina dcllc mcnbra fue 

O diuina uirtu fcmiti prefti 
tanto che lombra delb^ato regno 
ftrgnata nel mio capo manifefti 

Vcnir ucdrami altuo dilctco lejno 

ccoronarmi alor dicjuellc foglic 
che lam tcra ctu mi farai degno 

Si radeuolte padre fene coglfc 
per triumphare ocefarc opojta 
col pa e ucrgogna del humane uoglie 

Che parturir letrcii infu lalieta 
delptifca delta douria lafronda 
peneia quando alchun dife afTeta 

Poca fauiila gran fiamma fccondi 
dictro dame forfc chommig 1 ior uocf 

i pregh 

rche c 

^ rifpondi 

-tn-gic amort ^li per diucrfe foci 
I iuc- -rm del mondo madi^ujlLi 
chcr ^tro ctv-rdbi giungic chon trc crcci 

Cl-on iDig'ior corfo e chonmigliorc ItAia 
c fr.ic congiupt i clli mondin < ci . r i 
piu afuo n)odo temper i cfu^u'la 

Fatto hiu/a dil.i m?ne cdiqin fcta 
tal foce cp ifi L t uteri labnnco 
cjnjllo hcmifperio elaltn pirtc ncra 

Q_ti"ndo be t fee infill Gniih'o fiauco 
ndi rirjoltd eriguqrd^ir n,:lfo!e 
rqtii^ r i noIifififTe unquanco 

E fi cl onx f^chondo riv^to fuol 
ufcir d^l primo criC4ir infufo 
pur < v !;orrv percgnni ch lotinr tin ' 

C hofl- de^hati fuoi per liocbi infaf.> 
re!!im-^inj rr)i i il mfo fi fecic 
fifli ^ochi!/ o'ti\.- nc't,-o ufo 

T 'n re i_ :ci:c. i c'-' <jni DOP lecio 
at <- i.o re ujrL'j metce J.rl!oco 
f ;tro -o r re -t io H.'il'ima.jj Tp, e iL 

io nci ' t , it r.jci .'"o n 1 Ti ooeo 
chio nt'ltucic-'ii (Ti^ii iar dintorno 
crrrre. f^rro bc-^ientc i.fcie aeiroco 

E difubito parac giorru i ^torno 
effer a^iunto chon\- jjti i c L: puot\ 
KittefTc ilciel d;.-) i t.-o io!t i jot no 

Beatrice tut,i n:ll*' rerre ' o e 
fiiT^ cogliorVi ffrtU.i no <i J 
Icluci fifft. Ji^lTu nu/ou. 

Hante Alighien. " La Divina Cornmodia," M.intuae M72, the first pa^e 
'what is by manx rrg:u fled as the oldest edition of the earliest knouu poem 

xvi ittcn in the Italian language. 
N'o^ in llir l^iblsolh* <]iir S.untn ( irncvirvr, Pans 


Count Byerges, was rewarded with a box containing a mariner's 

REFERENCES. Suhm, "In effigien Torfaei, una cum Torfaenis " ; 
"Nouv. Biogr. Gnerale de Hoefer," Vol. XLV. p. 405 ; " New Gen. Biog. 
Diet.," London, 1850, Vol. XII. p. 263; Jcssen, " Norge," pp. 83-99; 
Larousse, "Diet. Univ.," Vol. XV. p. 312; Michaud, "Biog. Univ.," 
Vol. XLI. p. 683. 

A.D. 1269. Peregrinus (Petrus), Pierre Pelerin de Maricourt, 
Mehdricourt Magister Petrus de Maharnecuria, Picardus doubtless 
a Crusader, was, as Roger Bacon tells us (" Opus Tertium," cap, xi) 
the only one, besides Master John of London, who, at this period, 
could be deemed a thoroughly accomplished, perfect mathematician, 
and was one who understood the business of experimenting in 
natural philosophy, alchemy and medicine better than any one 
else in Western Europe. 

Peregrinus is the author of a letter or epistle, " Written in camp 
at the Siege of Lucera (delle Puglie Nucerne) in the year of our 
Lord 1269, on the 8th day of August," addressed to his Amicorum 
intime, a soldier, by the name of Sygerus de Fontancourt Foucau- 
court Foucancort . 

Of this epistle, which is the earliest known work of experimental 
science, there are but few reliable complete manuscript copies. 
Most of these have been very ably analyzed by P. I). Timoteo 
Bertelli Barnabita in the exhaustive Memoirs published by him 
in Rome during 1868, and still better detailed by Dr. Silvanus 
P. Thompson in his several valuable printed researches and lectures 
on the subject, but there has been of it only one printed issue in 
book form, that of the Lindau physician, A. P. Gasser, which 
appeared at Augsburg during 1558. 

Several attempts at translation have been made, notably by 
Guillaume Libri (" Histoire des Sciences Mathematiques ..." 
Paris, 1838, Vol. II. p. 487) who admitted that, with the aid of 
several paleographers, he could not decipher many of the abbreviated 
faint characters existing in the Bibliotheque Nationale manuscript 
(No. 7378Ain quarto, at folio 67), and by Tiberius Cavallo, who does 
scarcely better witli the Leydcn copy (Fol. Cod. No. 227) which 
was discovered by him, and but a portion of which he transcribes 
in the supplement to his " Treatise on Magnetism," London, 1800, 
pp. 299-320. A translation was also made by Brother Arnold, of 
the La Salle Institute in Troy, N.Y., and published during 1904, 
but the most meritorious version now existing is the one entitled 
" Done into English by Silvanus P. Thompson from the printed 
Latin versions of Gasser 1558, Bertelli 1868, and Hellmann 1898, 
and amended by reference to the manuscript copy in his possession, 


formerly amongst the Phillipps' manuscripts, dated 1391. " This 
translation, " printed in the year 1902, in the Caxton type, to the 
number of 250 copies," reflects very great credit upon Prof. Thomp- 
son, who has given us such a faithful interpretation of the original 
work as would naturally be expected at his hands, and who has, 
besides, rubricated this right royal little volume and caused it to 
be issued in one of the most attractive typographical fashions of the 
Chiswick Press. 

The Hellmann 1898 Berlin version just alluded to, which ap- 
peared in " Neudrucke von Schriften und Karten . . ." No. 10 
(Kara Magnetica], contains a photographic reproduction of the 
Augsburg 1558 title-page, and, it may be added, the volume of 
Phillipps' manuscripts, of which Prof. Thompson became the 
fortunate possessor, includes one of Chaucer's treatises on the 
Astrolabe, besides the Peregrinus' manuscript in question. 

During the year 1562 much of the original epistle was pilfered 
by Joannes Taisnier Hannonius, who badly condensed and de- 
formed it and incorporated it as new matter, conjointly with some 
papers of his own, in a book entitled " Oposculum . . . de Natura 
Magnetis et ejus effectibus . . ." Colonise, 1562; and that much 
was translated " into Englishe " by Richarde Eden, London, about 
1579, under title of " A very necessarie and profitable booke 
concerning navigation . ' ' 

Much has been said at different times regarding the contents of 
the above-named epistle, the full title of the Paris MS. No. 7378 of 
which reads 

" Epistola Petri Percgrini de Maricourt ad Sygerum de Foucaucourt 
mil item de magnete," 

but no resume of it could better be given than by quoting here its 
first page, which has been translated as follows : 

This treatise on the magnet contains two parts, of which Part I 
is complete in ten chapters, and Part II in three. 
Of Part I : Chap. I states the object of the work; 

Chap. II, of what the investigator in this line of work 

should be; 

Chap. Ill, of a knowledge of the load stone; 
Chap. IV, of the science of the discovery of the parts 

of the loadstone ; 

Chap. V, of the source of the discovery of poles in the 
loadstone which of them is the north and which 
the south; 
Chap. VI, in what manner a magnet attracts a magnet ; 

Pctius Peregnnu-5. " Lpistola . . de Magneto ' 

The earliest known treatise of experimental science, 

now in the Ribliotheque Nationale, Paris 


Chap. VII, how Iron touched with the magnet turns 

towards the poles of the globe ; 

Chap. VIII, in what manner a magnet attracts iron; 
Chap. IX, why the northern part attracts the southern 

part, and the converse; 
Chap. X, of the inquiry whence the magnet derives 

the natural power it possesses. 
Of Part II : Chap. I, on the construction of an instrument (floating 

compass) by which the azimuth of the sun and 

moon, and of any star above the horizon, can 

be ascertained; 
Chap. II, on the construction of a better instrument 

(pivoted compass) for like purpose ; 
Chap. Ill, on the construction of a wheel for perpetual 


An analyzation of each chapter in turn will show how satis- 
factorily Peregrinus has developed, in connected series, all of the 
early experiments upon which are based his theories of the loadstone. 


Chap. I states that the intention or object of the work is to make 
known the hitherto hidden nature, occult properties, of the 
loadstone, the art of treating the latter, the making of scientific 
instruments, and matters of interest to students of nature, 
astrologers and sailors. 

Chap. II. The investigator in this line should know the natures of 
things and understand the motions of the heavenly bodies, 
but, above all, he should be assiduous in handiwork for 
experimental research. 

Chap. Ill indicates four different requisite qualities of the loadstone, 
and tells where they are to be found and how to select and 
test them the best of them being free from flaws, of great 
density and of a bluish or celestial colour. 

Chap. IV shows how to find in the loadstone the two poles, one 
north and the other south, using preferably a globular magnet, 1 

1 To Peregrinus is due the first inception of the terrella. He makes the 
magnet round, and says, " You must know that this stone bears in itself a 
likeness of the heavens and contains two points, one North and the other 
South, thus resembling the poles of the sky. ..." In his Memoria Prima, 
" Sopra P. P. de Maricourt," 1868, P. D. Timoteo Bertelli Barnabita states 
(Chap. VI. p. 22) that, besides the terrella, Gilbert appropriated other observa- 
tions and experiments of Peregrinus, and, farther on (Chap. VII. p. 28), he 
gives us the following extract from Th6venot : " L'on voit encore que la pluspart 
des choses que I'on attribue d Gilbert et qui luy ont donne la reputation de Pere 
de la Philosophic de VAyman estaient scues ds le treizi&me sidcle." This, 


placing thereon a needle or an oblong piece of iron, and, either 
drawing lines in the direction taken by the needle, so that they 
" may meet at two points, just as all the meridian circles of the 
world meet at the two opposite poles of the world/' or, by 
merely marking the magnet so that " the opposite points will 
be correctly placed just as are the poles in a sphere." 

Chap. V. In order to find the poles in a stone which of them is the 
North and which the South take a round wooden vessel 
shaped like a skiff (paropsidis, parascidis), and place the stone 
therein, then put the vessel containing the stone into another 
large vessel filled with water, so that the first-named vessel 
may float into the larger one : " The stone in the first vessel 
will be like a sailor in a ship, and the iirst vessel may float 
roomily into the second as does a ship in a river, and the stone 
so placed will turn its small vessel acting as the Northern pole 
in the direction of the Northern heaven. ... If this pole were 
then turned away a thousand times, a thousand times would it 
return to its place by the will of God." 

Chap. VI. Having found which pole is the Northern, mark it so 
that it may be known when necessary. Place the stone into 
a small vessel, as shown in Chap. V, then hold another stone 
in the hand and approach its Northern part to the Southern 
part of the stone floating in the vessel, and the floating stone 
will follow the other " as if it wished to adhere thereto. . . . 
Know that, as a rule, the Northern part of one stone attracts 
the Southern part of another stone and the Southern the 

Chap. VII. When the needle or oblong piece of iron (alluded to in 
Chap. IV) has touched the magnet and been attached to a 
light piece of wood or stalk and then placed in a vessel of 

says he (in a note, pp. 28-29), is doubtless an exaggeration. That Gilbert 
took from P. Peregruuis his ierrella and many excellent scientific plans on 
magnetism, the ideas of others also, is probable, but it is indubitable that 
much was his own, and that, for his time, his work is a veritable chej-d' ceuvre 
of inductive and experimental method and the most finished treatise on 
magnetism which had up to that time appeared. 

In this connection, Bertelli adds (Part III. p. 92) : " We must conclude 
that historical truth was undoubtedly distorted when, for so long a period, 
it was asserted and repeated, without any sufficient mature investigation, 
that the famous William Gilbert of Colchester was the real and sole founder 
of magnetism and of the inductive method in experimental science. We 
certainly must not deny him the no small merit which is his due, nor the share 
he had in the discoveries at the commencement of the seventeenth century, 
but we must, likewise, confess that the copious collection of facts which he 
gives us, and the experimental and discursive method with which he presents 
them is neither altogether his own nor is it new " (see W. Wenkebach, 
" Sur Petrus Adsigerius." Rome, 1865, p. 8; " Universal Lexicon," Leipzig, 
1741; N. Cabaeus, " Phil. Magn.," Ferrara, 1629, p. 23). 


water, one part will be turned towards the mariner's star 
because it is near the pole, " the fact being that it does not 
turn towards the aforesaid star but towards the pole." That 
end of the iron which has touched the Southern end of the 
stone turns towards the Northern quarter of the sky, and vice 

Chap. VIII. If you wish to attract iron floating on water, hold the 
Southern part of a loadstone to the Northern part of the iron 
and the iron will follow. But, if you bring the North end of 
the stone near the North end of the iron, the latter will avoid 
the stone. ' ; " If, however, violence is used towards the ends, 
so that, for instance, the Southern end of the iron which was 
touched with the Northern end of the magnet is now touched 
with the Southern end of the magnet . . . the power in the iron 
will easily be changed, and that will become Southern which was 
previously Ndrthern, and the converse." 

Chap. IX. " The Northern part of the magnet attracts the Southern 
and the reverse, as has been shown; in which attraction the 
magnet is an ' agent ' of greater power while the ' patient ' 
(i. e. the other which is acted upon) is^ of weaker." This is 
proved by taking a loadstone marking it, for instance, AD 
dividing, separating it into two parts, and placing one part 
(the Northern, marked A, called the " agent ") into water so 
that it will float. It will turn " to the North, as before, for 
the division does not deprive the parts of the stone of their 
properties, if it be homogeneous." The other part (the Southern, 
marked D, called the " patient ") is next to be floated in a 
similar manner. When this is done, the other ends of the two 
stones should be marked respectively B and C. It will then 
be observed that " if the same parts are again brought near 
each other, one will attract the other, so that they will be joined 
together again at B and C where the division took place. 
Whence it is that they become one body with the same natural 
propensity as at first. The proof of this is that rf they are 
joined together they will possess the same oppositions (opposite 
poles) they first contained. The ' agent/ therefore, as you 
will see by experiment, intends to unite its ' patient ' to itself, 
and this takes place on account of the similitude between 
them. . . . And, in the same way, it will happen that if A is 
joined with L), the two lines will become one, by virtue of 
that very attraction, in this order CD AB . . . there will 
then remain the identity of the extreme parts as at first, before 
they were reunited, for C will be the North point and B the 
South point, as B and C were before. ... It is therefore 


evident, from these observations, why the Southern parts do 
attract the Northern, and the reverse, and why the attraction 
of the South by the South, and the North by the North, is not 
according to Nature/' 

Chap. X. " Some weak inquirers have imagined that the power 
which the magnet exercises over iron lies in those mineral places 
in which the magnet is found . . . but it is found in different 
parts of the world. . . . Besides, when iron or the magnet 
turns towards the Southern as well as to the Northern quarter, 
as is evident from what has already been said, we are compelled 
to decide that the attraction is exercised on the poles of the 
magnet not only from the locality of its quarry, from which 
ensues the evident result that, wheresoever a man may be, 
the direction of this stone appears to his eye, according to the 
position of his meridian circle. All the meridian circles, 
however, meet together at the poles of the globe, wherefore it 
is that the poles of the magnet receive their power from the 
poles of the world. From this, it manifestly appears that the 
direction of the magnet is not towards the mariner's star, as 
the meridian circles do not meet there, but all the poles, for the 
mariner's star is always found beyond the meridian circle of 
any region unless it be twice in a complete revolution of the 
firmament. Likewise from this, it is manifest that the parts 
of the magnet receive their power from the world's poles . . . 
the whole magnet from the whole heavens." 1 Then follows 
a suggestive experiment looking towards perpetual motion, 
by which one may secure " a wonderful secret " and even 
" be saved the trouble of having any clock." Here, it is given 
that a terrella, poised on its poles in the meridian, moves 
circularly with a complete revolution in twenty-four hours. 
This is explained by N. Cabseus in his " Phil. Magn.," lib. iii. 
cap. 4. 


Chap. I. He takes a round, or an ovoid magnet, and, after noting 
its poles, files it between the two poles on both sides so that 
it may be like a compressed sphere and thus occupy less space. 
He then encloses this magnet between two light wooden cap- 
sules, or boxes (cassulas) after the manner of a mirror ... so 

1 In this same sense does Ristoro d' Arezzo write in his " La Compositione 
del Hondo . . . del 1282," transcribed by Enrico Narducci, Roma, 1859, pp. 
172, 316, xi, xii. Ristoro calls the needle angola (lib. xxxix. p. 326,), which, 
says he, guides the mariner and which is itself directed (per la virtu del cielo) 
by the star called tramontane (pp. no, 263-4, 326); see " Pietro Pere- 
gtino," Bertelli, 1858, pp. 55, 130. 


fastened (with glue) that they cannot be opened and water 
cannot enter. Then, says he, " place the capsules thus adjusted 
in a large vessel full of water in which the two quarters of the 
globe, viz. the South and the North, are found and marked, 
and let them be indicated by a thread extending from the 
Northern to the Southern part of the vessel ; allow the capsules, 
or boxes, to float and let there be above them a slender piece 
of wood in the form (position) of a diameter. Then move this 
piece of wood above 'the boxes until it is equidistant from the 
meridianal line previously found and indicated by the thread, 
or is the same (line) itself. This being done, according to the 
piece of wood so situated, draw a line on the capsules, or boxes, 
and it will be the perpetual meridianal line in all countries. 
That line, therefore, when cut at right angles by another will 
be divided in the centre and will be the line of the East and 
West. You will thus have four quadrants actually marked 
on the capsules, or boxes, representing the four quarters of the 
globe, of which each will be divided into ninety, so that there 
may be in the universe CCCLX parts (degrees) in the entire 
circumference of the capsules, or boxes. Inscribe divisions 
on it as they were formerly inscribed on the back of the astro- 
labe. There should be, besides, a slender and light ruler above 
the capsules so inscribed after the manner of the ruler on the 
back of the astrolabe. Instead, however, of the sights (pinnu- 
larum), should be erected at right angles two pins over the 
ends of the ruler." 

This floating compass and the pivoted compass described 
in the following chapter are to be found illustrated, pp. 67-77, 
figs. 10 and 12, at end of Part II of Bertelli Barnabita's Memoirs 
above referred to. 

Chap. II. For the construction of a " better instrument and of 
more certain effects " (the pivoted compass) he says : " Let 
there be made a vessel of wood, brass or any other solid material 
that you desire, and let it be turned in the shape of a jar (pixidis 
tornatum) somewhat deep and tolerably large and let a cover of 
transparent material, such as glass or crystal, be fitted to it. 
If the whole vessel were of transparent substance so much the 
better. Let there be placed in the centre of the same vessel 
a slender axis of brass or silver, applying its extremities to the 
two parts of the jar, that is to say (to the) higher and lower. 
Let two holes be then made in the centre of the axis facing 
each other at right angles. Then let a piece of iron wire, 
like a needle, be passed through one of these holes and another 
wire of silver or brass be passed through the other, intersecting 


the iron at right angles. Let the cover at first be divided into 
quadrants and each of the quadrants into ninety parts, as was 
taught regarding the other instrument. Let North and South 
and East and West be marked on it and let a rule of transparent 
material be added to it with wires set upright at the ends. You 
will approach what part of the magnet you please, whether 
North or South, to the crystal until the needle moves towards 
it and receives virtue from it. When this is done, turn the 
vessel until one end (of the needle) stands directly over the 
North in the instrument coinciding with the Northern quarter 
of the sky. This being done, turn the rule to the sun, by day, 
and to the stars, by night, in manner above indicated. By 
means of this instrument, you will be enabled to direct your 
footsteps to states and islands and to any places on the globe, 
and wheresoever you may be, whether on land or on sea, so 
long as their latitudes and longitudes are known to you." 
Chap. III. He constructs " a wheel which shall be constantly in 
motion," by making a very thin concave, silver case, after the 
manner of a mirror, suitably perforated, around the rim of 
which he inserts small iron nails, or teeth, bent closely toward 
each other and which he then places upon an immovable axis 
so that it may revolve easily." He continues : " Let a silver 
wire be added to this axis, fixed to it and placed between two 
bowls on the end of which let a magnet be set, prepared in 
this manner. Let it be rounded and its poles ascertained, as 
before indicated ; afterwards, let it be fashioned in the shape of 
an egg with the poles intact, and let it be somewhat filed down 
in two intermediate and opposite parts with the object of its 
being compressed and occupying less space so that it may not 
touch the inner walls ... let the magnet be placed on the 
wire . . . and let the North pole be somewhat inclined towards 
the small teeth of the wheel so that it may exercise its power . . . 
so that each tooth shall arrive at the North pole and, owing to 
the impetus of the wheel, shall pass it by and approach the 
Southern quarter. Thus every small tooth will be in a per- 
petual state of attraction and avoidance. And, in order that 
the wheel may perform its duty with greater rapidity, insert, 
between the cases, a small round brass or silver pebble of such 
size that it may be caught between any two of the small teeth, 
so that, as one part of the wheel comes uppermost, the pebble 
may fall to the opposite part. Wherefore, whilst the motion 
of the wheel is perpetual on one side, the same will be in the 
case of the pebble on the other side, or the fall of the pebble 
caught between any two of the teeth will be perpetual to the 

Petrus Peregrinus. Facsimile of a Ms. at the liodleiau Library, 

of the *' Kpistola cle Magnate," 
wherein is described the earliest known pivoted compass. 


opposite side because as it is drawn towards the centre of the 
earth by its weight, it assists the motion by not suffering the 
small teeth to remain at rest in front of the stone. Let there 
be spaces, however, between the small teeth conveniently 
curved, so as to catch the pebble as it falls in the way the present 
description indicates." 

Gilbert alludes to this perpetual-motion engine as having been 
devised or delineated by Peregrinus after he had got the idea from 
others (" De Magnete," Book II. chap, xxxv.), and says that Jerome 
Cardan writes ("Opera," Batav., 1663; " De Rermn Varietate," 
Book, IX. chap, xlviii.) he could construct one out of iron and load- 
stone not that he ever saw such a machine ; that he merely offers 
the idea as an opinion and quotes from a report of the physician 
Antonio de Fantis of Treviso published in " Tabula generalis ac mare 
magnum scotice subtilitatis. ..." 

In the " Magisterium Naturae ct Artis," P. Francisci Tertii de 
Lanis, Brixiye, 1684, Tractatus Tcrtius, Caput Secundum, p. 489, 
under Problema, I, Motus pcrpctuus magnctis, will be found allusion 
to the machines of (i) P. Peregrinus, as described in his epistle; 
(2) Taisnier; (3) Ant. de Fantis (cited by Cardan, as stated above); 
also mention of those of P. Schottus, Athan. Kircherus, Hieronhnus 
Finugius and others ; the most important of these being again 
alluded to throughout the third chapter of the same tract. 

Gilbert makes further allusion to P. Peregrinus in his Book I. 
chap, i.; Book II. chap, xxxv.; Book III. chap, i.; Book IV. 
chap. i. ; Book VI. chap. iv. 

The Peregrinus' Lcyden manuscript (Fol. Cod. No. 227) already 
alluded to, Libri says (" Histoire des Sciences Matliem. . . ." 1838, 
Vol. I. p. 383, note), is but a poor copy of the manuscript in the 
Paris Library (No. 7378A), from which latter the words Petri ad 
Sygcnim have been unfortunately transformed into Petri Adsigcrii. 
He adds (Vol. II. pp. 70-71) that Humboldt cites (" Examen 
Critique," p. 243) several authors who have alluded to the pretended 
Adsigerius. Mention is also made of the fact that W. Wenkebach, 
professor at the Hague Military School, examined the manuscripts in 
the Bodleian Library, Nos. 1629, 1794 and 2458, containing the 
treatise of Peregrinus, and that not one of them has the passage 
alluding to the decimation. The Leydcn manuscript, by the way, is 
said to be the only one, besides the Vatican copy, No. 5733, bearing 
the full date, which latter was first made known by Thevenot in his 
" Recueil de Voyages." And it was a passage found in the Leyden 
manuscript (Q 27) which led to the belief that Peregrinus had first 
observed the variation or declination of the magnetic needle. The 


passage is as follows : " Take note that the magnet, as well as the 
needle that has been touched by it, does not point exactly to the 
poles, but that the part of it which is supposed to point to the South 
sometimes declines a little to the West, and that the part which 
looks towards the North sometimes inclines to the East. The exact 
quantity of this declination I have ascertained, after numerous 
experiments, to be five degrees. However, this declination is no 
obstacle to our guidance, because we make the needle itself decline 
from the true South by nearly one point and a half towards the 
West. A point contains five degrees." This passage is unquestion- 
ably a late addition, being written in a different hand in a circle 
which itself is an incomplcted outline of one of the figures of Pere- 
grinus' primitive compass. 

REFERENCES. - " Encyclopedia Metropolitan^" Vol. III. p. 737 
(" Bibhothcca Bibliothecarnm," fol. n, p. 1400; " Catalogue of the MSS. 
in the library of Geneva," by Sencbier, p. ^07); " Bullctino di biblio- 
graphia c di stona dclle scicnzc . . ." B. Boncompagni, Vol. I. pp. 1-32, 
65-99, 101-139, 3 19-. \ 20; Vol. IV. pp. 257-288, 303-331; "Cat. bibl. 
publicaj univeis. Lug. L>;it.," p. 365; W. Wciikebach, " Sur Petrus 
Adsigcnus . . ." Koine, 1865 (taken from Vol. VII. No. 3 of the " Annah 
Puia cd Apphcata ") ; Brunei, "Manuel du Libraire," 1863, Vol. IV. 
p. 493; " Br. Museum Libiaiy," 538, G 17; "Journal des Savants," 
for April-May 1848, and September 1870; Walker, " Magnetism," 1866, 
p. 6; "English Cyclopaedia," Vol. VIII. p. 160, also Dr. Mutton's 
" Phil, and Math. Dictionary"; Thos. Young, "A Course of Lectures 
on Nat. Phil, and the Mechanical Arts," London, 1807, Vol. I. pp. 746, 
756; " Electro-magnetic Phenomena," by T. A. Lyons, New York, 1901, 
Vol. I. pp. 105-106; Vol. II. p. 565 (with translation of a portion of the 
original manuscript); " Examen Critique," A. de Humboldt, Paris, 
1836, Vol. III. p. 31 ; " Science and Literature of the Middle Ages," 
Paul Lacroix, London, pp. 88-89, 280-282; Silvanus P. Thompson, 
Proceedings of the British Academy," 1905-6, p. 377. It may be added 
that Houzeau et Lancaster, " Bibl. Generale," Vol. I. part i. p. 640, 
allude, at No. 3197, to a manuscript of P. Pcrcgrinus, " Nova compositio 
astrolabii particulars, " as being in the Library of Geneva and as citing 
the year 1261 in connection with the astronomical tables of John Campan 
(Campanus, Italian mathematician, who died about 1300) : " Biog. 
Generale," Vol. VIII. p. 373. 

A.D. 1270. Riccioli (Giovanni Battista), an Italian astronomer, 
member of the Society of Jesuits, b. 1598, d. 1671, asserts that at 
this period under the reign of St. Louis (1226-1270), French navi- 
gators were already using the magnetic needle, which they kept 
floating in a small vase of water, and which was supported by two 
tubes to prevent its falling to the bottom. 

For a detailed account of the work of this well-known scientist 
consult : " Biographic Generate," Vol. XLII. pp. 147-149; Fabroni, 
" Vitae Italorum," Vol. II; Jean Baptiste Delambre, "Hist, de 
1'Astron. Mod./' 1821; Davis, "The Chinese/' Vol. III. p. n; 
Venanson, " Boussole," pp. 70-71; Klaproth, " Boussole/' p. 54; 
Becquerel, " ResumeV' p. 59; Alex. Chalmers, " Gen. Biog. Diet./' 


1811, Vol. XXVI. pp. 182-183; Fischer, " Gcschichtc dcr Physik," 
Vol. I ; Tiraboschi, " Storia dclla letter. Ital.," Vol. VIII ; " English 
Cyclopaedia," Vol. V. pp. 76-77. Riccioli's " Almagestum Novum," 
Bologna, 1651, in two volumes, gives in book nine of the second 
volume the sentence of Galileo. This is the work which an old savant 
called " the pandects of astronomical knowledge " (Morhof Poly- 
histor, Vol. II. p. 347). 

A.D. 1271-1295. Polo (Marco), Paulum Venctum, is reported 
by many to have brought the compass from China to Italy. This is, 
however, supported by no evidence, nor is any allusion whatever 
made to the fact in the account he rendered of his voyage. Before 
Marco Polo set out on his travels, as Humboldt states, the Catalans 
had already made voyages " along the northern islands of Scotland 
as well as along the western shores of tropical Africa, while the 
Basques had ventured forth in search of the whale, and the 
Northmen had made their way to the Azores (the Bracir islands 
of Picignano)." 

Polo relates that he set out from Acre in 1271, and returned to 
Venice " in the year 1295 of Christ's Incarnation." His " Travels " 
(" II Milione di Messcr Marco Polo ") according to the review of 
Col. Henry Yule, consists of a prologue and four books. It was 
dictated by him to a fellow prisoner, Rtisticiano or Rusticello, of 
Pisa, and " it would appear now to be definitely settled that the 
original was ... of just such French as we might expect in the 
thirteenth century from a Tuscan amanuensis following the oral 
dictation of an Orientalized Venetian." 

Polo's journeyings extended " so far to the north that he leaves 
the North Star behind him, and thence so far to the south that the 
North Star is never seen." 

REFERENCES. Becquercl, " Elec. et Magn.," Vol. I. p. 70; Sonnini, 
in Buffon, " Mindraux," Vol. VI. p. 84; Humboldt, " Cosmos," 1849, 
Vol. II. pp. 625, 656, or 1860, pp. 250-251 ; " The Book of Scr 
Marco Polo," by Sir Henry Yule, New York, 1903, which contains 
a very extensive bibliography at end of the second volume; Libri, 
"Hist, dcs Sc. Mathem.," Paris, 1838, Vol. II. pp. 26, 140, etc.; 
D. A. Azuni, "Dissertation sur la Boussole," p. 69; Miller, "Hist. 
Phil. 111.," 1849, Vol. I. pp. 179-180; " Encycl. Brit.," ninth ed., 
Vol. XIX. p. 407; "Journal des Savants" for September 1818, 
also May 1823, and the five articles published January to May 1867; 
see also " Ccntennaire de Marco Polo," par. H. Cordier, Paris, 1896, 
containing " bibliographic tres complete de toutes les editions de Marco 
Polo et des ouvrages qui lui sont consacrs." 

A.D. 1282. Ba'ilak, native of Kibdjak, wrote this year, in 
Arabic, his book on " Stones/' wherein he says that he saw during 
his voyage from Tripoli to Alexandria, in 1242, the captains of the 
Syrian sea construct a compass in the following manner : " When 


the night is so dark as to conceal from view the stars which might 
direct their course according to the position of the four cardinal 
points, they take a basin full of water, which they shelter from wind 
by placing it in the interior of the vessel ; they then drive a needle 
into a wooden peg or a corn-stalk, so as to form the shape of a cross, 
and throw it into the basin of water prepared for the purpose, on 
the surface of which it floats. They afterwards take a loadstone of 
sufficient size to fill the palm of the hand, or even smaller ; bring 
it to the surface of the water, give to their hands a rotatory motion 
towards the right so that the needle turns on the water's surface ; 
they then suddenly and quickly withdraw their hands, when the 
two points of the needle face north and south. I have seen them, 
with my own eyes, do that during my voyage at sea from Tripolis 
to Alexandria." 

REFERENCES. K Salvertc, " Phil, of Magic," New York, 1847, 
Vol. II. pp. zzi -222, note; "American Journal of Science and Arts," 
Vol. XL. p. 217; Davis, "The Chinese, 5 ' Vol. III. p. xii ; Klaproth, 
" Lcttre a M. de Humboldl," pp. 59, 60, 67; Knight, " Mech. Diet.," 
Vol. II. pp. 1371 and 1307 ; " F.lcctro-Magn. Phenoni./' by T. A. Lyons, 
New Voi k, 1901, Vol. 11. p. 504. 

A.D. 1302. Gioia Goia (Flavio or Joannes), an Italian pilot 
reported born at Positano, near Amalfi, is said by Flamnius 
Venanson (" DC I'invention dc la boussole nautique," Naples, 1808, 
pp. 1 38 and 168) to be the real inventor of the mariner's compass. 
This view is supported by Briet (Philippe), " Aumiles Mimdi," 
Vol. VI: Geog. ct Hydrog., lib. x. cap. 8; by Voltaire (" Essai 
sur les Mceurs," 1819, Vol. III. chap, cxli.), and by many others, 
but Klaproth ("Lcttre . . ." 1834, pp. 132-136) quotes Anthony of 
Bologna, called the Panormitan, as saying that Gioia lived in the 
fourteenth century and wrote both " Prima dedit naiilis usum 
magnetis A mat phis" and " Invcntrix praetor a jitit magnetic Amal- 
phis." He adds that a statement to the same effect was made by 
Arrigi Brechmann in his " Historia Pandcctarum Amalphitorum," 
Dissertatio I, No. 22, Neapoli, 1735, p. 925, but that both are equally 
incorrect, for Gioja could not have invented an instrument which had 
already been in use more than a hundred years before his time. 1 

1 Dr. Gco. Miller names (" Hist. Phil. 111.," London, 1849, Vol. I. p. 180, 
note) Gnyot de Proving, Jacques dc Vitry and Brnnctto Latini, as referring to 
the compass. He adds that the Chronicle of France intimates the use of this 
instrument under the name of marinette towards the 1imc of the first of the 
voyages of the Crusaders undertaken by Louis IX, and that Hughes dc Bercy, 
a contemporary of that prince, speaks of it as well known in that country, 
.tor these reasons, says he, " the credit of the invention must be denied to 
Flavio de Melfi, or Flavio Gioia, a Neapolitan, who is commonly said to have 
constructed the first compass about the year 1302, on account of which the 
province of Principato, in which he was born, bears one of these instruments 
for its arms, 1 ' 


In his " Essay on Several Important Subjects," London, 1676, 
Joseph Glanvill remarks (p. 33) : " I think there is more acknowledg- 
ment due to the name of this obscure fellow, that hath scarce any 
left, than to a thousand Alexanders and Caesars or to ten times the 
number of Aristotles and Aquinas'. And he really did more for the 
increase of knowledge and advantage of the world, by this one 
experiment, than the numerous subtile disputers that have lived ever 
since the creation of the School of Wrangling." 

In the " Navigator's Supply," published 1597, William Barlowe 
speaks of " the lame tale of one Flavins at Amclphus in the Kingdome 
of Naples ; for to have devised it (the compass) is of very slender 

M. D. A. Azimi says (" Boussole," 1809, p. 144) that Gioja may 
have possibly invented the method of suspending the magnetic 
needle upon a perpendicular pivot so that it would remain horizontal 
whatever the movements of the vessel. This is very likely; at 
any rate, it must be admitted that this particular mode of support 
permits a freer movement to the needle in any direction and admits 
of more exact observations than when the needle is floating upon 
the water. 

At pp. 487-505, Vol. II of his " Histoire dcs Sciences Mathe'- 
matiques," Guillaume Libri transcribes all he is able to from the 
almost illegible Peter Peregrmus' manuscript, No. 7378A, in the Paris 
Bibliotheque, and refers to the imperfect mode of suspending the 
magnetic needle therein shown. It is, says he, similar to that 
spoken of by Francesco da Buti (Libri, Vol. II. pp. 67-68; Bertelli, 
" Pictro Pcregrino," pp. 63-66), who makes first mention of the 
compass in the Dante commentary (" Comment, sopra la Divina 
Commcdia ") to be found in the collection of manuscripts No. 29, 
held by the Magliabcchiana Library of Florence. He adds that 
the suspension of the needle is likewise alluded to by Guerino dctto 
il Mcschino, in a work first composed prior to the " Divina Corn- 
media " (an Italian romance, attributed to one Andrew the Floren- 
tine) as imbellico, or in bcllico, in bilico, meaning in suspense, through- 
out the editions of Padua, 1473, Bologna, 1475, Milan, 1482 and 
Venice, 1480, 1498. Mention is also made by Libri of the writings 
of Adelard de Bath on the compass, at p. 62 of his second volume. 

REFERENCES. Camillus Lconardus, "Speculum Lapidum " ; the 
notes at p. 180, Vol. I. of Dr. Geo. Miller's " Hist. Phil. 111.," London, 
1849, Vol. I. p. 170, note; Venanson, " Boussole," pp. 158, 160; Knight, 
" Mech. Diet.," Vol. II. p. 1398; Collcnutius Collenuccio " Com- 
pcndio . . . rcgno di Napoli," Venice, 1591 ; " Discussione della leg- 
gcnda di Flavio Gioia, inventore della bussola " (T. Bertelli, in " Rivista 
di Fisica Mat. e Sc. Nat.," Pavia, 1901, II. pp. 529-541) ; Matteo Camara, 
" Mcmoric . . . di Amalfi," Salerno, 1876; " Literary Digest," July 6, 
1901, translated from " Le Cosmos," Paris, June 8, 1901; Giraldi, 


" Libellus de Re Nautica/' Bale, 1540; Admiral Luigi Fincati, "II 
Magnete, la calamita c la bussola," Rome, 1878; " Annalcs de G6o- 
graphie," Vol. XI. No. 59, pp. 7-8 for September 15, 19''. and G. 
Grimaldi in the " Mem. d. Accad. Etrus. di Cortona "; Paulus Jovius, 
" Historiarum," Florence, 1552; Pictro Napoli Signorelli, " Sull' inven- 
zione della bussola nautica . . ."; M. A. Blondus, " De Ventis," 
Venice, 1546; Caelius Calcagninus, " Thesaurus Grcecarum Antiqui- 
tatum," 1697, Vol. XI. p. 761 ; Houzeau et Lancaster, " Bibl. G6n.," 
Vol. II. p. 149; " Riv. G. Ital.," X. 1903, pp. i, n, 105-122, 314-334. 

For Briet (Philippe), b. 1601, d. 1668, see Michaud, "Biog.Univ.," 
Paris, 1843, Vol. V. p. 527. The best, most complete edition of 
Briefs " Annales Mundi " is the Venice, 1693. 

A.D. 1327-1377. It has been claimed by F. M. Arouet de 
Voltaire, who asserts it at Vol. III. pp. 251-252 of his " Essai sur 
les Moeurs et 1'Esprit des Nations," Paris, 1809, " that the first well- 
authenticated use of the compass " was made by the English during 
this period, which is that of the reign of King Edward III. 

By Voltaire, the extraordinary (prodigicusc) antiquity of the 
Chinese is not questioned. They knew of the compass, but he says 
" it was not employed by them for its proper use, that of guiding 
vessels at sea. They travelled only along the shores. Possessed, 
as they were, of a country that furnished everything, they did not 
feel the need of going, as we do, to the other end of the world " 
(Vol. I. pp. 239, 247). Speaking of the Portuguese (Vol. III. p. 257) 
he says : "It was not before known if the magnetic needle would 
point to the south on approaching the South Pole ; it was found 
to point constantly to the north during the year 1486." 

From the time of Edward III, the compass was known in England 
by the names of adamant, sailing needle and sail-stone dial, as has been 
shown in the writings of Chaucer and others, the most important of 
which will be duly quoted in their order. The compass was alluded 
to, more particularly, by John Gower, "Confessio Amantis/' 1 Books I 
and VI; by Richard Hakluyt, " Voyages/' Vol. I. pp. 213, 215; and 
by Edward Fairfax, " Godefroy de Boulogne," Book XV. s. 18. 

It may be well to record here that Voltaire was " confessedly 
the foremost name, the acknowledged head of European literature 
of his time." Goethe calls him " the greatest literary man of all 
time, the most astonishing creation of the Author of Nature " 
(" Nouvelle Biographic," Vol. XLV. i. p. 445). Though not the first 
French author who wrote on the wonderful discoveries of Newton, 
he was the first to make them extensively known on the Continent. 

1 It is interesting to note that the " Confessio Amantis," which went 
through as many as four editions before the year 1560, is a huge work of 
nearly thirty-five thousand lines which was written at the desire of King 
Richard II of England between the years 1377 and 1393. 


REFERENCES. Sir Harris Nicolas, " Hist. Roy. Navy/' 1847, 
Vol. II. p. 180 ; Humboldt, " Cosmos," 1859, Vol. V. p. 57, note ; Whewell, 
" Hist, of the Ind. Sc.," 1859, Vol. I. p. 431 ; " Crit. and Misc. Essays," 
by Thomas Carlyle, Boston, 1860, pp. 5-78. " La France Litteraire," 
par Joseph M. Querard, Vol. X. Paris, 1839, pp. 276-457, devotes as 
many as 182 pages to bibliographical notices of Voltaire and names 1131 
publications written by or relating to him, whilst in Qu6rard's " Biblio- 
graphic Voltairienne " will be found a still more extended account at 
pp. i-xxxvi and at pp. 1-84. 


Regarding the mariner's compass, it can scarcely be doubted, 
from what precedes, that it came to the knowledge of Europeans 
in the manner indicated under the A.D. 1190 date. 

Bailik of Kibdjak Batiak Kibdjaki spoke of its use as generally 
well known by the Syrian navigators, who constructed it in exactly 
the same way as did the Chinese (A.D. 1111-1117 an( ^ A - D - 1282), 
and which resembled the compass seen by Brunette Latini in the 
possession of- Friar Bacon while in England prior to the year 1260 
(Knight, " Mech. Diet.," Vol. II. p. 1397). 

Edrisi (Idrisi or Aldrisi), the most eminent of the Arabian 
geographers, is said by Boucher to have given a confirmed account 
of the polarity of the magnet, the early knowledge of which by the 
Arabs has been shown conclusively by Jacob de Vitry, Vincent de 
Beauvais and Albert us Magnus. 

Signor P. T. Bertelli, who has been mentioned under the 
A.D. 1190 date, could not mid any reference, however remote, to 
the directive property of the loadstone throughout a careful examina- 
tion of Latin and Greek works dating from the sixth century B.C. 
to the tenth century A.D. He admits that the directive property 
was known to the Chinese, who had made rude floating needle 
compasses before the beginning of the Christian era, although these 
compasses are likely to have been brought home by the Amalfian 
sailors, who are, by some writers, represented as having substituted 
the pivoted needle as well as added the Rose of the Winds. 1 He 
will not, however, recognize the claims made in favour of Flavio 
Gioja. On the other hand, A. Botto has shown that the Amalfitans 
introduced the compass between the tenth and the eleventh 
centuries (" Contribute agli studi storici sull' origine della bussola 
nautica," 1899). Consult likewise Vol. IX of " Annales de Gogr. 
et de Bibliogr.," 1899, p. 8. 

At p. 195 of the December 1904 issue of " Terrestrial Mag- 

1 Les Roses des Vents n'apparaissent pas sur les cartes avant le xvi e 
stecle (" Annales de Geographic," VI. 1897, p. 14 de la Bibliographic). See 
A.D. 1436 entry. 


net ism " is a short article relative to the claim made that the com- 
pass was invented by a Veronese named Salomone Ireneo Pacifico 
(A.D. 776-846) during the first half of the ninth century. It states 
that Bertelli considers this due to a misinterpretation of an inscrip- 
tion on Pacifico 's tomb, and it alludes to Bertelli 's previous paper 
on the subject in " Terrestr. Magn.," Vol. VIII. No. 4, p. 179 
(see also the number of " Terrestr. Magn." for June 1905, p. 108, 
and the " Geographical Journal" for March 1905, pp. 334-335). 

The earliest recorded use of the compass in a Spanish vessel, 
according to Capmany (" Memorias Historicas," 1792), is to be 
found in the Chronicle of Don Pedro Nino, Conde de Buelna, 
as follows : " It is reported that Condc's galleys left the island 
of La Alharina along the coast of Bombay . . . and the pilots 
compared their needles which had been rubbed with the magnet 
stone. . . ." 

In Dr. Plumptre's notes on Dante, reference is made to the fact 
that the European knowledge of the magnetic needle came from 
Arabia, and, like Humboldt, he quotes in support thereof an 
allusion from the Spanish " Leyes de las Partidas " belonging to the 
first half of the thirteenth century. The passage in the last named 
is spoken of by M. Fern de Navarrete in his " Discurso historico," 
etc., 1802 (II. tit. ix. ley 28) and reads thus : " The needle which 
guides the seaman in the dark night and shows him, both in good 
and in bad weather, how to direct his course is the mediatrix 
(medianera) between the loadstone (la picdva) and the north star ..." 
Humboldt adds : " See the passage in ' Las siete Partidas del sabio 
Roy Don Alonso el IX' [according to the usually adopted chrono- 
logical order, Alfonso the tenth], Madrid, 1829, Vol. I. p. 473." * 

On the other hand, the knowledge of the compass by the Arabs 
in the thirteenth century has been most decidedly contested by 
E. Renaudot (" Anciennes Relations dcs Indes et de la Chine," 
Paris, 1717, p. 3) ; by D. A. Azuni (" Dissertation sur 1'origine de 
la Boussole," Paris, 1809, pp. 102, 127; by Giovanni Battista 
Ramusio (" Coll. Voy.," 1554, Vol. I. p. 379) ; by A. Collina (" Con- 
siderazioni," etc./Faenza, 1748, p. 121, etc.). Buffon says (" Theorie 
de la Terre," Paris, An. VIII. tome i. p. 300) : "I know that some 
pretend the Arabs have invented the compass and have used it 
long before the French (sec ' Abrege de 1'histoire des Sarrazins,' 
de Bergeron, p. 119) . . . but that opinion always appeared to me 

1 Incidentally, it may be mentioned that when the laws of Castile were 
collected in a Code, during the reign of Alfonso the tenth, surnamed El Sabio, 
the learned, the compilers divided the work into seven volumes or parts (siele 
partidas] in order that each volume or part might be dedicated to one of the 
seven letters constituting Alfonso's name (" Dedication of Books," New 
York, 1881, pp. 17-18). 


devoid of reason ; for there is no word in the Arabian, Turkish or 
Persian tongue which can be made to signify the compass. . . . 
They employ the Italian word bossola. ..." 

The same view is entertained by Dr. William Robertson, principal 
of the University of Edinburgh, who, after announcing in his 
" History of the Reign of Charles V," London, 1769, Vol. I. p. 78, 
that the mariner's compass was invented soon after the close of the 
Holy War, gives at pp. 333-335 of his " Historical Disquisition/' 
London, 1812, a translation of the above passage taken from an 
early edition of that illustrious French naturalist George Louis Le 
Clerc, Comte de Buff on. Robertson adds : " This shows that the 
knowledge of this useful instrument was communicated to them 
(the Arabs) by the Europeans. There is not one single observation of 
ancient date made by the Arabians on the variation of the needle, or 
any instruction deduced from it for the assistance of navigators. . . . 
When Mr. Niehbuhr was at Cairo, he found a magnetic needle in 
the possession of a Mohammedan which served to point out the 
Kaaba, and gave it the name of el magnetic, a clear proof of its 
European origin." 

The claims of France to the discovery of the compass have been 
laid by some to the fact that the north point of the early instruments 
was generally drawn in the form of a fleur dc lys, but Voltaire says 
("Essai," etc., Vol. 111. p. 251), that the Italians drew this in honour 
of the sovereigns of Naples, a branch of the French royal family. 
The able writer in the English Cyclopaedia (" Arts and Sciences," 
Vol. III. p. 102) considers the design to be only " an ornamented 
cross which originated in devotion to the mere symbol ; though, as 
the compass undoubtedly came, he says, into Europe from the 
Arabs, the fleur de lys might possibly be a modification of the 
mouasala, or dart, the name by which the Arabs called the needle 
(" Phil. Mag.," Vol. XVIII. p. 88). 

REFERENCES. Hallam, " Middle Ages," Vol. III. chap. ix. part ii.; 
Klaproth, " La Boussole," pp. 53, 54 and 64 -66; Davis, " The Chinese," 
Vol. III. p. 12; " Silliman's Journal," XL. 242-250; "Nautical 
Magazine," April 1903; " Ciel ct Terre," Juin i, 1904, pp. 156-158; 
" Histoire de la Boussole," par P. D. M. Boddaert; Libri, " Hist. des. 
Sc. Mathem.," Paris, 1838, Vol. I. pp. 136-137, 382, etc.; Article " Bus- 
sola" in " Nuova Encycl. Italiana," by Bocardo; Vol. IV. Torino, 1877, 
p. 377, poesia di Ugo di Sercy (Bercy) c di Giovanni di Mehun ; " Harper's 
Magazine," New York, for February, 1904; V. Molinicr, " Notice . . . 
boussolc an xiii" sidcle," Toulouse, 1850; G. Grimaldi, "Dissert . . . 
della bussola," Roma, 1741; McCulloch, " Traites . . . boussole," 
Paris, 1853; Magliozzi, " Notizie . . . bussola," Napoli, 1849; Dr. 
Geo. Miller, " Hist. Phil. Illust.," London, 1849, Vol. I. p. 180, note. 
For Edrisi, sec " Journ. dcs Savants," issued in April and August 1843, 
and in December 1846. 

A.D. 1391. Chaucer (Geoffrey), the father of English poetry, 


thus expresses himself in " The Conclusions of the Astrolabie " 
(" English Poets," London, 1810, Vol. I) : " I haue giuen thee a 
sufficient astrolabye for oure orizont compowned after the latitude 
of Oxenforde. . . . Now hast thou here, the fower quarters of thin 
astrolabie, deuided after the fower principall plages or quarters of 
the firmament. . . . Now is thin Orisonte departed in XXIIII 
partiez by thi azymutz, in significacion of XXIIII partiez 
of the world; al be it, so that ship men rikne thilke partiez in 

" Now maugrc Juno, Aneas 
For all her sleight and her compas 
Atcheiued all his auenture." 

" House of Fame/' B. I. 
" The stone was hard of adamaunt, 
Whereof they made the foundemaunt, 
The tour was round made in compas, 
In all this world no richer was." 

" Rom. of the Rose." 

" Right as betwene adamants two 
Of euen weight, a pece of yron set, 
Ne hath no might to moue to ne fro 
For what that one may hale, that other let." 

" Assem. of Foules." 

REFERENCES. "English Poets/' London, 1810, Vol. I. p. 453; 
Ch. Wells Moulton, " Library of Literary Criticism," Vol. I. pp. 77-81. 

A.D. 1436. Bianco Blanche (Andrea), was an Italian carto- 
grapher living at Venice early in the fifteenth century, who pub- 
lished, in 1436, an atlas exhibiting charts of the magnetic variation. 
The knowledge of the latter, which is so indispensable to the correc- 
tion of a ship's reckoning, was then ascertained less by the sun's 
rising and setting than by the polar star. 

One of Bianco 's charts, now in the Biblioteca Marciana, Venice, 
shows two islands at the West of the Azores, leading many to believe 
that he possessed some knowledge of the existence of North and 
South America. 

In Justin Winsor's description of Dr. John G. Kohl's collection 
of early maps (" Harvard Univ. Bulletin," Vol. III. pp. 175-176), 
it is said that the original of Andrea Bianco 's Map of the World 
A.D. 1436, now at Venice, was reproduced by Joachim Lelewell 
(" Ge.ographie du Moyen Age," PI. XXXII), and also in M. F. de 
Barros de Santarem's " Essai sur Fhistoire de la cosmographie et 
de la cartographic " (Pis. XXIII, XLIII). 1 Reference is also made 
thereto in Winsor's " Bibliography of Ptolemy's Geography," sub 

1 See "Geographical Journal/' Vol. V. March 1895, No. 3, "Pre-Columbian 
Discovery of America/' pp. 222, 224, 226, for sketches of Andrea Bianco's 
Map of 1448. 


anno 1478. Mr. Winsor adds : " Bianco 's views are of interest in 
early American cartography from the deductions which some have 
drawn from the configuration of the islands ' Antillia ' and ' De la 
man Satanaxio ' (two islands on its western verge) that they 
represent Pre-Columbian discovery of South and North America." 
Humboldt (" Crit. Untersuchungen," I. 413, 416) has discussed 
the question, and pointed out that one island, " Antillia," had earlier 
appeared on a map of 1425, and D'Avezac finds even earlier references 
to the same island. 

To Andrea Bianco may be ascribed the best of all known forms 
of wind-roses. Admiral L. Fincati illustrates, in his well-known 
pamphlet " II Magnete, la Calamita e la Bussola," Rome, 1878, 
all the best-known examples from 1426 to 1612, those of Bianco 
having upon them either the fleur de lys (referred to at A.D. 
1327-1377) or the letter T, or designs of a triangle or trident, 
to indicate the north, whilst the east is designated by a cross, 
in same manner as shown in the 1426 Giraldi and the Oliva 1612- 

For other forms and accounts of these rose-of-the-winds or 
compass cards, it would be well to consult more particularly Norden- 
skiold, Nils Adolf Erik (1832-1901), " Periplus " (1897), as well 
as his " Facsimile Atlas " published eight years previously; Pedro 
de Medina, " Arte de Navegar " ; Francesco Da Buti, " Comment, 
sopra la Div. Com. " ; Simon Stevin's " Haven-finding Art " ; Athan. 
Kircher, " Magnes, sive de Arte Magnetica"; and Guillaume de 
Nautonniez, " Mecometrie cle TEymant . . . declinaison guidey- 
mant pour tous les lieux ..." published 1602-1 6o4. 2 

1 In Kohl's collection of early maps already alluded to as given in " Harv. 
Univ. Bull./' Vol. Ill, reference is made (p. 175) to the portolano A.D. 1426 
of a Venetian hydrographer, Giacoino Giraldi, which has been preserved in the 
Biblioteca Marciana and which was reproduced at Venice by Ongania in 1881, 
also (p. 303) to the Map of America published during 1570 by Abraham 
Oertel Orteli b. 1527, d. 1598, and at p. 365 to the Map of the World by 
Joannes Oliva, A.D. 1613, as well as to an Atlas by Salvatore Oliva, A.D. 1620, 
showing both the Americas. In an article headed " The first true Maps," 
to be found in " Nature " of December 15, 1904, pp. 159-161, mention is 
made that the oldest dated portolan is the first of Pietro Vesconte Visconti 
executed in 1311. 

2 For Nautonniez, see Houzeau et Lancaster, " Bibl. Gen.," Vol. I. 
part ii. p. 1193, a ls J- G. T. Groesse, " Tr6sor de Livres Rares," Dresde, 
1863, Vol. IV. p. 651, and Brunet, " Manuel," p. 827, at which latter appears 
the statement of M. Frere to the effect that Guillaume de Nautonnier 
Nautonniez caused to be reprinted, under the above-named title of " Mco- 
m6trie de 1'Eymant," the " Dialogue de la Longitude " of Toussaincte de 
Bessard originally published at Rouen in 1574. 

For the reported investigation of Pedro da Medina, who, Gilbert says, 
(" De Magnete," Book IV. chap, viii.) does not accept variation and has with 
many errors disgraced the art of navigation, consult, preferably, the Venetia 
1555 edition entitled " L'Arte del navegar," Libro sesto, "Delia Aguggia, 


REFERENCES. " Biog. Gen.," Vol. V, pp. 922-923, Mazzuchelli, 
" Scrittori d' Italia"; "New Int. Encycl.," New York, 1902-1903, 
Vol. II. p. 796; Larousse, " Diet. Univ.," Vol. II. p. 672; Humboidt, 
" Cosmos," 1859, Vol. V. p. 55; Johnson's " New Univ. CycL," 1878, 
Vol. III. p. 230; " Dcr Atlas des Andrea Bianco vom Jahre 1436 of 
Osrar Pcschel," Venedig, 1869; Justin Winsor, " Narrative and Critical 
Hist, oi America," Boston, 1889, Vol. I. pp. 50-56, 114, 117; " Formal- 
eoni, saggio snlla nautica antica de Veneziani," Vencz., 1783, pp. 51-59 
(Libri, " Hist. des. Math.," Vol. HI). 

A.D. 1490-1 541. Paracelsus (Aureolus Theophrastus) the as- 
sumed name of Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombast von Hohen- 
heim a native of Switzerland, admitted by unprejudiced writers 
to have been one of the greatest chemists of his time (Hemmann, 
"Medico Sur. Essays," Berlin, 1778). The author of " Isis Un- 
veiled " states that he made use of elcctromagnetism three centuries 
before Prof. Oersted's discovery, and that he rediscovered the occult 
properties of the magnet, " the bone of Horus," which, twelve 
centuries before his time, had played such an important part in the 
theurgic mysteries, thus very naturally becoming the founder of 
the school of magnetism and of mediaeval magico-theury. But 
Mesiner, who lived nearly three hundred years after him, and as a 
disciple of his school brought the magnetic wonders before the public, 
reaped the glory that was due to the fire-philosopher, while the great 
master died in want (" Isis Unveiled/' Vol. I. pp. 71, 72, 164). 

Madame Blavatsky further adds (Vol. I. p. 167) that the full 
views of Paracelsus on the occult properties of the magnet are 
explained partially in his famous book " Archidoxorum," wherein 
he describes the wonderful tincture, a medicine extracted from the 
magnet, and called " Magisterium Mngnetis," and partially in the 
" De Ente Dei " and " I)e Ente Astrorum," lib. i. 

In the words of Paracelsus, we give the following extracts 
concerning the loadstone, taken from " The Hermetic and Alchemical 
Writings . . ." by A. E. Waite, London, 1894 : 

Vol. I. p. 17. "The adamant. A black crystal called . . . 
Evax ... is dissolved in the blood of a goat." 

over bossolo da navegar," pp. cviii-cxvi. The leaf xxiii contains a Map of 
America. This last-named map of the Nuevo Mundo " may be taken to 
represent the results of Spanish discovery about 1540, Pedro da Medina having 
been the official examiner of pilots. It is interesting as showing the mouth of 
the Spirito Santo (the Mississippi) and the lands around the river and gulf 
of St. Lawrence. The Island of Cape Breton appears as part of Nova Scotia 
and of the mainland; but Newfoundland is represented as three islands, 
divided from Northern Canada by a much wider expanse of water than the 
actual Straits of Belle Isle. This is, however, a striking instance of the great 
extent of Medina's geographical knowledge. The river Saguenay is shown at 
its entry into the St. Lawrence, which is also a remarkable feature in so early 
a map." 

om.M'liu rof)r(Kliifti(Ui cf Ins Iftrer, M.irc li 2tst. if/^' 
<!'M to I' ! in' f and to ^p i'ii, \\ 1m li v js :u ']iHK'il In 
np.l | i f -,< r t !f H 1)\ li'ui to th' 3 (.' i< v ol OIM IM 
in th."* 1 of t!o (i(ihM-i- Munu iprililj . 

soiedad feic, 'ZI^c lorulf ru00 i n tolj(ct) pott tjatje left u0 cannot be tolfc, 

, os fca o* e - 3 ,j atje ff(tjen t ,, e book of mp torftf ng0 tt goffer JFcanee0co 

iado non s* puede 

dezir. EI ubro de &f SUbarola, in ocbrc tfcat lie ma? 0enb ft to pott, toft} another 

m>s escrow, di tc an0eript O f i m er0 m^ite. Retfpcetfng tbe receipt tfjere* 

amifer Francisco de 

Ribarol,para que 03 f > airt *& P la {n to ttfcf) ?W \ai put it, 3 bfff JOU tO bt 00 
U enbie, con otro gooD fl0 fo tor(te ^ 35 j^f e00> attOt^C 0(m(IaC OIU 0(aU 
traslado de cartas 

fa? tfje 

0atne 9Qt&Stt Jfratice0co i pou tofll find a ntto tori ting fn it* 

porney* en etlo, 03 ^^ Diftnt**t# HtaHf me ft prOtttfcfe CD ffftt ttlf all t*at be* 

/j(fo />or merfed que 

lo escrivay* a Don longjf tO FW, 85* tO ptlt 3>0n j^ffffO (nt0^00f00<OTl Of ftlft?. 

Di^o. cxro M tbinf,0 *ou MI 0ee. 3 am tecitinff to 9^r0ecdfian Eutrrt 

acabara,y se o* tn~ 

biara por la mtsma nb to tlje feiffnoca m? l*&p Catttina; t|e letter (0 gof iif toitb 

mifer Franfitco: en 

eito fauerey, ***- **' ^^ ^ rtll ^> tot ^ & * fine toeatber, tit| a great 
tura nueba. Sus At- equipment* Jl (Kirolanto Ha feanto.fetef ano come0> |e mu0t 

* me perten f e y de tfcep toill takt from I? (tit tD^atetier t|ep can, ant toUl t|en 

[,] ^eno 
de todo aDon Diego 

como veyrey*. AI Uieen tDOl tecette bim until 3 atrttie* 9N? >uc lotu babe 

Senor mi[ J M a 
Lys y ala Senora 

crivo. La carta va 

con *,ta. Yo e,toy 

de partida en nonbre >. ^ .. 

de la Santa Trinidad 

yr JLj Y 

tienpo, con mncbo Xpo FERENS. 

atabio. SiGeronimo 

de Santi Efteban viene aebeme esperar y no se en6[a]>ar con nada por qite tomar[a]n del lo que 
pudieren y despite* le deaaran en bianco. Venga aca y el Key y la Reyna le recibiran fasta que yo 
venga. Nvestro SeOor oa aya en su santa guardta. Fecba a xxi de marfo en Sebilta 1502. 

Alt que mandardes. 

S- A -S- 

X M Y 


Christopher Columbus. Translation of the letter written by him to Nicolo ()deno, 

shown opjxisite , ni.'ide into Fn<j;hsh by Mr ( i. A U.orwirk, P> A , of the ! British Museum 

Permission to repro<lu< e bolh original letter and its translation was given by 

Messrs li I'' Stevens <S: Hiown, London 


" The magnet. Is an iron stone, and so attracts iron to itself. 
Fortified by experience. ... I affirm that the magnet . . . not 
only attracts steel and iron, but also has the same power over the 
matter of all diseases in the whole body of man." 

Vol. I. pp. 132 and 145. " A. magnet touched by mercury or 
anointed with mercurial oil, never afterwards attracts iron . . . 
same if steeped in garlic. . . ." 

Vol. I. p. 136. " The life of the magnet is the spirit of iron which 
can be taken away by rectified vinum ardens itself or by spirit of 

Vol. II. p. 59. " Wherever the magnet has grown there, a 
certain attractive power exists, just as colocynth is purgative and 
the poppy is anodyne. ..." 

Mr. A. E. Waite says (Vol. II. p. 3) that the ten books of Para- 
celsus' Archidoxies stand in the same relation to Hermetic Medicine 
as the nine books Concerning the Nature of Things stand to Hermetic 
Chemistry and to the science of metallic transmutation. 

REFERENCES. Biography of Paracelsus, in Larousse, " Diet Univ.," 
Vol. XII. pp. 171-172, in F. Hartmann, 1887, and in the ninth eel. of 
the " Encycl. Brit.," Vol. XVIII. pp. 234-236; Van Swindcn, " kecucil," 
etc., La Haye, 1784, Vol. I. pp. 350-358 ; Gilbert, " De Magnete," Book I. 
chaps, i. and xiv., also Book 11. chap. xxv. , " Journal des Savants " for 
November 1849; Walton and Cotton, " Complete Angler," New York 
and London, 1847, pp. 212-213, for notes regarding Paracelsus, Robert 
Fludd, Jacob Behmcn and the Rosicrueians ; " Dictionnaire Hisloriquc de 
la Medccine," N. F. Eloy, Mons, 1778, Vol. III. pp. 461-471 ; " History 
and Heroes of the Art of Medicine," J. Rutherfurd Russell, London, 
1861, pp. 157-175; " Histoire Philosophique de la McVlccine," Elienne 
Tourtelle, Paris, * An. XII. (1804) Vol. 11. pp. 326-346; "History of 
Magic," Joseph Ennemoser, London, 1854, Vol. II. pp. 229-241. 

At p. 55 of the first supplement to " Select. Bibliog. of Chemistry," 
by H. C. Bolton, Washington, 1899, mention is made of the Paracelsus 
Library belonging to the late E. Schubcrth of Frankfort-on-the-Main . . . 
as containing 194 titles of works on Paracelsus and 548 titles of works 
relating to Paracelsus and his doctrines ; the section on Alchemy embra- 
cing as many as 351 titles. 

A.D. 1492. Columbus, Colombo, Colon (Christopher), the dis- 
coverer of America, is the first to determine astronomically the 
position of a line of no magnetic variation (on which the needle 
points to the true north) the merit of which discovery has, by Livio 
Sanuto, been erroneously attributed to Sebastian Cabot. (Livio 
Sanuto, " Geographia distincta in XII libri ..." wherein the 
whole of Book I is given to reported observations of the compass 
and to accounts of different navigators.) 

Columbus did not, as many imagine, make the first observations 
of the existence of magnetic variation, for this is set down upon 
the charts of Andrea Bianco, but he was the first who remarked, on 
the I3th of September, 1492, that " 2\ degrees east of the island of 



Corvo, in the Azores, the magnetic variation changed and passed 
from N.E. to N.W." Washington Irving thus describes the dis- 
covery (" History . . . Ch. Columbus," Paris, 1829, Vol. I. p. 198) : 
" On the i3th of September, in the evening, being about two hundred 
leagues from the island of Ferro (the smallest of the Canaries), 
Columbus, for the first time, noticed the variation of the needle, 
a phenomenon which had never before been remarked. He per- 
ceived, about nightfall, that the needle, instead of pointing to the 
North Star, varied about half a point, or between five and six 
degrees to the north-west, and still more on the following morning. 
Struck witli this circumstance, he observed it attentively for three 
days and found that the variation increased as he advanced. He 
at first made no mention of this phenomenon, knowing how ready 
his people were to take alarm; but it soon attracted the attention 
of the pilots, and filled them with consternation. It seemed as 
if the laws of nature were changing as they advanced, and that they 
were entering into another world, subject to unknown influences 
(Las Casas, ' Hist. Ind./ 1. i. c. 6). They apprehended that the 
compass was about to lose its mysterious virtues ; and, without 
that guide, what was to become of them in a vast and trackless 
ocean ? Columbus tasked his science and ingenuity for reasons 
with which to allay their terrors. He told them that the direction 
of the needle was not to the polar star but to some fixed and invisible 
point. The variation, therefore, was not caused by any fallacy in 
the compass, but by the movement of the North Star itself, which, 
like the other heavenly bodies, had its changes and revolutions, 
and every day described a circle around the pole. The high opinion 
that the pilots entertained of Columbus as a profound astronomer 
gave weight to his theory, and their alarm subsided." 

Humboldt says : " We can, with much certainty, fix upon three 
places in the Atlantic line of no declination for the I3th of September, 
1492, the 2ist of May, 1496 and the i6th of August, 1498." 

REFERENCES." Columbus and his Discoveries," in the " Narrative 
and Critical History of America," by Justin Winsor, Boston, 1889, 
Vol. II. pp. 1-92 ; " Christopher Columbus, His life, work . . ." by John 
I3oyd Thachcr, 1903; Giov. Bat. Ramusio, " Terzo volume delle 
Navigation! e Viaggi . . ." 1556; Dr. Geo. Miller, "History Phil. 
Tllust.," London, 1849, Vol. IL *pp. 216-219; David Hume, "History 
of England," London, 1822, Vol. III. pp. 387-398; Guillaume Libri, 
" Histoire des Sciences Mathe'matiques en Italic," Halle, 1865, Vol. III. 
pp. 68-85; " Columbus, a Critical Study," by Henry Vignaud, London, 
1903; Weld, "Hist. Royal Society," Vol. II. p. 429; Thos. Browne, 
" Pseudodox. Epid.," 1658, Book II. pp. 68-69; Humboldt, " Cosmos," 
1849, Vol. I. p. 174; Vol. II. pp. 636, 654-657, 671-672, and Vol. V. 
(1859) pp. 55-56, 116; Knight, " Mech. Diet.," Vol. II., pp. 1374, 1397; 
Poggendorff, " Geschichtc dcr Physik," Leipzig, 1879, p. 270; " Raccolta 
di document i e studi publicati della R. Com. Coiumb. pel 40 Centenario 


dalla scoperta dell' America," Roma, 1892; Humboldt, " Examen 
Critique . . . progres de 1'astronomie nautique," Paris, 1836, Vol. I. 
pp. 262-272, etc. 

It may be worth noting here that the ashes of Columbus, 
removed from the Cathedral of Havana, were placed in a mausoleum 
at Seville, November 17, 1902 (" Science," Dec. 12, 1902, p. 958). 

Amongst the numerous claimants to the discovery of America, 
some have placed the great navigator Martin Behaim Belie m 
(1430-1506), who received his instruction from the learned John 
Miiller (Rcgiomontanus) and became one of the most learned 
geographers as well as the very best chart maker of his age. Cel- 
larius, Riccioli and other writers assert that Behaim had, before 
Columbus, visited the American Continent, while Stuvenius shows, 
in his treatise " De vero novi orbis inventore," that the islands of 
America and the strait of Magalhaens were accurately traced upon 
the very celebrated globe called the " World Apple " completed by 
Behaim in the year 1492, and which is still to be seen in Behaim 's 
native city of Niirnberg. 1 (See Mr. Otto's letter to Dr. Franklin, 
in the second volume of the " Transactions of the American Philo- 
sophical Society held at Philadelphia for promoting useful know- 
ledge," likewise Humboldt, " Examen critique de 1'histoire de la 
Geographic," Vol. II. pp. 357-369; "The Reliquary," London, 
Vol. VI. N.S. Jan .-Oct. 1892, pp. 215-229; Justin Winsor, " Narra- 
tive and Critical History of America," Boston 1889, Vol. II. pp. 104- 
105; " Geogr. Jour.," Vol. V. March 1895, p. 228.) 

It was this same Martin Behaim (Humboldt, " Cosmos," 1860, 
Vol. II. p. 255) who received a charge from King John II of Portugal 
to compute tables for the .sun's declination and to teach pilots how 
to " navigate by the altitudes of the sun and stars." It cannot 
now be decided whether at the close of the fifteenth century the 
use of the log was known as a means of estimating the distance 
traversed while the direction is indicated by the compass; but it 
is certain that the distinguished voyager Francisco Antonio Pigafetta 
(1491-1534) the friend and companion of Magellan Magalhsens 
speaks of the log (la catena a poppa) as of a well-known means of 
measuring the course passed over. Nothing is to be found regarding 
way-measurers in the literature of the Middle Ages until we come 
to the period of several " books of nautical instruction," written 
or printed by this same Pigafetta (" Trattato di Navigazione," 
probably before 1530); by Francisco Falero, a brother of Ruy 
Falero, the astronomer (" Regimiento para observar la longitud 

1 Behaim's justly famous globe was made up from the authorities of 
Ptolemy, Pliny and Strabo, as well as from the reports of Marco Polo's 
travels and the semi-fabulous travels of Sir John Mandeville (" English 
Cyclopaedia," Vol. I. p. 617). 


en la mar," 1535); by Pedro da Medina, of Seville (" Arte de 
Navegar," 1545) ; by Martin Cortez, of Bujalaroz (" Breve Compendio 
dc la esfera, y de la arte de navegar," 1551), and by Andres Garcia 
de Cespedes (" Rogimicnto de Navigacion y Hidrografia," 1606). 
From almost all these works some of which, if not all, have naturally 
become very scarce as well as from the " Summa de Geografia " 
which Martin Fernandez de Enciso had published in 1519, we learn 
most distinctly that the " distance sailed over " was then ascer- 
tained in Spanish and Portuguese ships not by any distinct measure- 
ment, but only through estimation of the eye, according to certain 
established principles. Medina says (lib. iii. caps. 11-12) : " In order 
to know the course of the ship, as to the length of distance passed 
over, the pilot must set down in his register how much distance 
the vessel hath made according to hours (i. e. guided by the hour- 
glass, ampoleta) ; and, for this, he must know that the most a ship 
advances in an hour is four miles, and, with feebler breezes, three 
or only two." Cespedes, in his " Regimiento " (pp. 90, and 156) 
calls this mode of proceeding cchar punto poy fantasia, and he justly 
remarks that if great errors are to be avoided, this fantasia must 
depend on the pilot's knowledge of the qualities of his ship. 
Columbus, Juan de la Cosa, Sebastian Cabot and Vasco da Gama, 
were not acquainted with the log and its mode of application, and 
they all estimated the ship's speed merely by the eye, while they 
ascertained the distance they had made merely through the running 
down of the sand in the glasses known as ampoletas. 

IvEi-FRKNc KS. For F. A. Pigafctta, for Pctro de Medina and for Martin 
Cortez, Ilouzcau el Lancaster, " Bibl. Gener.," Vol. 1. pi. ii. pp. 1221-^ 
1223; "New (ion. Hiog. Diet.," Jas. Rose, London, 1850, Vol. XL 
p. 113; " Biog. Univ." (Midland), Vol. XXXIII. p. 297; " Grand Did. 
Univ." (Laionsse), Vol. XII. p. 999; " Nouv Biog. Gen." (Hcefer), Vol. 
XL. p. 207. Also Dr. G. Hcllmann's " Neudrucke," 1898, No. 10, for 
reproduction of Francisco Falcro's " Tratato del Esphcra y del arle del 
marear " (Del Nordesfear dc las Agujas), 1535, as well as for reproduction 
of Martin Cortez' " Breve Compendio " (De la piedra Yman), 1551. 

A.D. 1497. Gama (Vasco or Vasquez da), celebrated Portuguese 
navigator, is known positively to have made use of the compass 
during the voyage he undertook this year to the Indies. He says 
that he found the pilots of the Indian Ocean making ready use of 
the magnet. The first book of the history of Portugal by Jerome 
Osorius wherein he gives (pp. 23-24, Book I. paragraph 15, 1581 
ed.) a very extended "description de 1'aiguille marine, invention des 
plus belles et utiles du monde " states that, instead of a needle, 
they used a small magnetized iron plate, which was suspended like 
the needle of the Europeans, but which showed imperfectly the 


Gilbert says (" De Magnete," Book IV. chap, xiii.) that, as the 
Portuguese did not rightly understand the construction and use 
of the compass, some of their observations are untrustworthy and 
that in consequence various opinions exist relative to magnetic 
variation. For example, the Portuguese navigator Roderigues 
de Lazos Lagos takes it to be one-half point off the Island of 
St. Helena; the Dutch, in their nautical journal, make it one point 
there; Kendall, an expert English navigator, makes it only one- 
sixth of a point, using a true meridional compass. Diego Alfonso 
finds no variation at a point a little south-east of Cape das Agulhas, 1 
and, by the astrolabe, shows that the compass points due north 
and south at Cape das Agulhas if it be of the Portuguese style, in 
which the variation is one-half point to the south-cast. 

REFERENCES. Azuni, " Boussolc," p. 121; Klaproth, " Boussole," 
p. 64; Knight, " Mcch. Diet.," Vol. II. p. 1398; Larousse, "Diet.," 
Vol. VIII. p. 977; " Voyagcurs anciens ct mcxlcrnes " (Charton), 1855; 
" Le Comtc Amiral D. Vasco da Gama," par D. Maria T. da Gania, 
Paris, 1902. 

A.D. 1497. Cabot (Sebastian), a prominent English navigator, 
lands, June 24, 1497, on the coast of Labrador, between 56 degrees 
and 58 degrees north latitude. 

At p. 150 of the 1869 London edition of Mr. J. F. Nicholl's 
" Life of Seb. Cabot," it is said the latter represented to the King 
of England that the variation of the compass was different in many 
places, and was not absolutely regulated by distance from any 
particular meridian ; that he could point to a spot of no variation, 
and that those whom he had trained as seamen, as Richard 
Chancellor and Stephen Burrough, were particularly attentive to 
this problem, noting it at one time thrice within a short space. 

REFERENCES. Richard Hdkluyt, " The Principal navigations, 
voyages, traftiqucs and diseovciics of the Knglish nation," 1599 : at 
pp. 237-243, for the voyage of Richard Chancclor, pilotc maior, and, at 
p. 274, for " the voyage of Sleucn Bunough, master of the pinncsse 
called the Serchtrift "; Livio Sanuto, " Geografia," Venice, 1588, lib. i. ; 
Fournier, " Hydrographie," lib. xi. ; " Library of Am. Biog.," by Jarcd 
Sparks, Boston, 1839, Vols. II and VII as per Index at pp. 318-319; 
" Jean et Seb. Cabot," par Hy. Harissc, Paris, 1882; Geo. P. Winship, 
"The Cabot Bibliography," London and New York, 1900; Ilumboldt, 
" Examcn Critique," Vol. IV. p. 231, and "Cosmos," Vol. II. (1860) 
pp. 640, 657-658; Biddle, " Memoir of Seb. Cabot," 1831, pp. 52-61. 

A.D. 1502. Varthema-Vertomannus (Ludovico di) leaves 
Europe for the Indies, as mentioned at p. 25 of his " Travels/' 
translated by J. Winter Jones, London, 1863, from the original 
" Itenerario . . . ne la India ..." Milano, 1523. He states that 

1 Aguilhas, in Portuguese, signifies needles: Walker, "Magnetism of 
Ships," 1853, p. 2; Sir Thomas Browne, " Pseud. Epidem.," Book II. p. 70. 


the Arabs who navigated the Red Sea were known to have long since 
made use of the mariner's chart and compass, and he tells us, in 
the introduction and at p. 249, that " the captains carried the com- 
pass with the needle after our manner," and that their chart was 
" marked with lines perpendicular and across/' When the polar 
star became invisible, they all asked the captain by what he could 
then steer them, and " he showed us four or five stars, among which 
there was one (B. Hydrus) which he said was opposite to (contrario 
delta) our North Star, and that he sailed by the north because the 
magnet was adjusted and subjected to our north, i. e. because this 
compass was no doubt of European origin its index pointing to 
the north, and being unlike that of the Chinese pointing to the 

REFERENCES. Cavallo, " Magnetism," London, 1787, Chap. IV; also, 
" Hakluyt's Collection of the early voyages, travels and discoveries," 
London, 1811, Vol. IV. p. 547, for " The navigation and voyages of 
Lewes Vertomannus." 

A.D. 1530-1542. Guillen (Felipe), an ingenious apothecary of 
Seville, and Alonzo de Santa Cruz (who was one of the instructors 
of mathematics to young Charles V, King of Spain and Emperor 
of Germany, and the Cosmografo Mayor of the Royal Department 
of Charts at Seville), construct variation charts and variation 
compasses by which solar altitudes can be taken. 

REFERENCES. Humboldt, "Cosmos," 1849, Vol. II. p. 658, and 
1859, Vol. V. p. 56; L. A. Bauer, " U. S. Magn. Tables," 1902, p. 26. 

Although based upon very imperfect observeitions, the magnetic 
charts thus devised by Alonzo de Santa Cruz antedate by more than 
one hundred and fifty years the work of Dr. Halley (at A.D. 1683). 

A.D. 1544. Hartmann (Georg) a vicar of the church of Saint 
Sebaldus, at Nuremberg, writes March 4, to the Duke Albrccht of 
Prussia, a letter which was brought to light by Moser and which 
reads as follows : " Besides, I find also this in the magnet, that it 
not only turns from the north and deflects to the east about nine 
degrees, more or less, as I have reported, but it points downward. 
This may be proved as follows : I make a needle a finger long, 
which stands horizontally on a pointed pivot, so that it nowhere 
inclines toward the earth, but stands horizontal on both sides; 
but, as soon as I stroke one of the ends (with the loadstone) it 
matters not which end it be, then the needle no longer stands 
horizontal, but points downward (fdllt unter sich) some nine degrees, 
more or less. The reason why this happens I was not able to 
indicate to his Royal Majesty.' 1 The above seems to establish the 
fact that Hartmann first observed the dip of the magnetic needle 
independently of Robert Norman. 


Gilbert refers (" De Magnete/' Book I. chap, i.) to Fortunius 
Affaitatus Affaydatus an Italian physicist who, says he, has 
some rather silly philosophizing about the attraction of iron and 
of its turning to the poles, thus alluding to the latter f s small work 
called " Physical (et) ac astronomiae (astronomic^) considerations ," 
which appeared at Venice in 1549. Nevertheless, it is a question 
whether Affaitatus was not actually the first to publish the declina- 
tion of the magnetic needle. (" Biogr. Ge*n.," Vol. I. p. 346; 
Mazzuchelli, " Scrittori d'ltalia "; Bertelli, " Mem. sopra P. Pere- 
grino," p. 115; Adelung, Supplement a Jocher, " Allgem. Gclehrtcn- 
Lexicon"; Johann Lament, " Handbuch des Magnetisrnus," 
Leipzig, 1867, p. 425; J. C. Poggendorff, " Biogr.-Lit. Handworter- 
buch," Leipzig, 1863, Vol. I. p. 15; Michaud, " Biogr. Univ. Anc. 
et Mod./' Vol. I. p. 208, Paris, 1843; Brunet, "Manuel," Paris, 
1860; " Biog. Cremonese de Lancetti"; M. le Dr. Hoefer, " Biog. 
Gen.," Paris, 1852, Vol. I. p. 346.) 

REFERENCES. Dove, " Rcpcrtorium tier Physik/' Vol. II, 1838, pp 
129-130; Poggendorff, " Gcschichtc der Physik," 1879, p. 273; L. 
Hulsius, " Descriptio et usus," Niirnbcrg, 1597; " Kucy. Brit.," 1883, 
Vol. XV. p. 221; P. Volpicclli, " Inlorno allc prime . . . magncte " 
(Atti dell Acad. Pont, dc Nuov. Lincci, XIX. pp. 205, 2ip). 

A.D. 1555. Olaus Magnus, a native of Sweden and Archbishop 
of Upsala (where he died during 1568) issued in Rome his great 
work " Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus," which, for a long 
time, remained the chief authority on Swedish matters. In this 
book, Gilbert says (" De Magnete," lib. i. cap. i) allusion is made 
to a certain magnetic island and to mountains in the north possessing 
such power of attraction that ships have to be constructed with 
wooden pegs so that as they sail by the magnetic cliffs there be 
no iron nails to draw out. 

To this, reference is made by Thos. Browne (" Pseud. Epidem.," 
1658, Book II. p. 78) as follows : " Of rocks magnetical, there are 
likewise two relations; for some are delivered to be in the Indies 
and some in the extremity of the North and about the very pole. 
The Northern account is commonly ascribed unto Olaus Magnus, 
Archbishop of Upsala, who, out of his predecessors Joannes, 
Saxo and others compiled a history of some Northern Nations ; 
but this assertion we have not discovered in that work of his which 
commonly passeth among us ; and should believe his geography 
herein no more than that in the first line of his book, where he 
afnrrneth that Biarmia (which is not 70 degrees in latitude) hath 
the pole for its zenith, and equinoctial for the horizon." 

In a Spanish book entitled " The Naval Theatre," by Don 
Francisco de Seylas and Louera, we find two causes assigned for the 


variation of the declination ; one is " the several mines of load-stones 
found in the several parts of the earth ..." the other being that 
" there is no doubt but large rocks of load-stones may affect the 
needles when near them ..."(" Philos. History . . . Roy. Acad. 
Sc. at Paris," London, 1742, Vol. II. pp. 279-280). 

KKFEKLNCES. Claudus Plolema'us, " Geographia," lib. vii. cap. 2 
(and others named by Bcrtelli Barnabita at foot of p. 21 of his " Pietro 
Peregrine de Maricourt," Roma, 1868, viz. Klaproth, " Lettrc sur la 
Boussole," Pans, 1834, p. 116; Thos. H. Martin, " Obscrv. ct Th6or. des 
ancicns," Koine, 1865, p. 304; Steinschneider, " Intorno. alia calamita," 
Koma, 1868); also Albcrtus Magnus, Lugduni, 1651; Mr. (Thomas) 
Blundcville, " His Exercises " ; Fracastorio, in the seventh chapter of 
his " De Sympathia ct Anlipathia "; F. Maurolycus, " Opusciila," 1575, 
p. i22n; Lipcnius, " Navigatio Salomon is Ophiritica " ; Paulus Merula, 
" Oosmographia Gcneralis," Leyden, 1605; Toussaincte tie Bessard, 
" Dialogue de la Longitude," Rouen, 1574 ; U. Aldrovandi, " Musanim 
Metalheum," 3648, pp. 554, 563, wherein he alludes to the magnetic 
mountains spoken of by Sir John Mandcvillc; Ninth " Encycl. Brit.," 
Vol. XVII. p. 752; also the entry at A.D. 1265-1321. 

A.D. 1558. Porta (Giambattista della), Italian natural philoso- 
pher (1540-1615), carries on a series of experiments with the magnet 
for the purpose of communicating intelligence at a distance. Of 
these experiments, he gives a full account in his " Magia, 1 Naturalis," 
the first edition of which is said to have been published at Naples 
when Porta was but fifteen years of age (" Encycl. Brit./' article 
" Optics "). Prof. Stanley Jones says this is the earliest work in 
which he has found allusions to a magnetic telegraph. 

Porta's observations are so extraordinary and they attracted so 
much attention as to justify eighteen separate editions of his work 
in different languages prior to the year 1600 that extracts must 
needs here prove interesting. They are taken out of " Natural 
Magick in XX Bookes by John Baptist Porta, a Neapolitainc . . . 
London 1658," the seventh book of which treats " Of the wonders 
of the loadstone." 

Proem : " And to a friend that is at a far distance from us and 
fast shut up in prison, we may relate our minds ; which I doubt not 
may be done by two mariner's compasses, having the alphabet 
writ about them ..." 

Chap. I (alluding to the loadstone) : 

" The Greeks do call it M agues from the place, 
For that the Magnet's hand it doth embrace." 

Nicander thinks the stone was so calledand so doth Pliny from 
one Magncs, a shepherd. 

In Chap. XVIII lie states that " the situation makes the Vertues 
of the Stone contrary . . . for the stone put above the table will 
do one thing, and another thing if it be put under the table . . . that 


part that drew above will drive off beneath; and that will draw 
beneath that drove off above : that is, if you place the stone above 
and beneath in a perpendicular." 

In Chap. XXV, in allusion to " a long concatenation of iron 
rings/' he thus quotes Lucretius : 

" A stone there is that men admire much 
That makes rings hang in chains by touch. 
Sometimes five or six links will be 
Fast joyn'd together and agree. 
All this vert nc fiom the Si one aribeth, 
Such foice it hath . . ." 

Chap. XXVII alludes to the Statue hung by Dinocrates : " . . . 
but that is false, that Mahomet's chest hangs by the roof of the 
Temple. Petrus Pcllegrinus saith, he shewed in another work how 
that might be done : but that work is not to be found . . . But I 
say it may be done because I have now done it to hold it fast by 
an invisible band, to hang in the air : onely so, that it be bound 
with a small thread beneath, that it may not rise higher : and then 
striving to catch hold of the stone above, it will hang in the air, 
and tremble and wag itself." 

In Chap. XXVI II he says that " Whilst the loadstone is moved 
under a table of wood, stone or any metal, except iron, the needle 
in the mariner's compass will move above, as if there is no body 
between them. St. Augustine (' Liber de Civitate Dei ') knew this 
experiment (likewise alluded to by Camillas Leonardus in his 
' Speculum Lapidum/ published 1502). But that is much more 
wonderful that I have heerd : that if one hold a loadstone under 
a piece of silver, and put a piece of iron above the silver, as he moves 
his hand underneath that holds the stone, so will the iron move 
above; and the silver being in the middle, and suffering nothing, 
running so swiftly up and down, that the stone was pulled from the 
hand of the man, and took hold of the iron." 

Chap. XXX is headed : " A loadstone on a plate of iron, will not 
stir iron," and he again quotes Lucretius : 

" Pieces of iron 1 have seen 
When onely brass was put between 
Them and the Loadstone, to recoil : 
Brass in the middle made this broil." 

In Chap. XXXII he tells us that an Italian " whose name was 
Amalphus . . . knew not the Manner's Card, but stuck the needle 
in a reed, or a piece of wood, cross over : and he put the needles into 
a vessel full of water that they might flote freely : then carrying about 
the loadstone, the needles would follow it : which being taken away, 
as by a certain natural motion, the points of the needles would turn 


to the north pole : and, having found that, stand still . . . Now 
the Mariner's Compass is made, and a needle touched with the Load- 
stone, is so fitted to it, that, by discovering the pole by it, all other 
parts of the heavens are known. There is made a rundle with a 
Latin-navel upon a point of the same metal, that it may rim roundly 
freely. Whereupon, by the touching onely of one end, the needle 
not alone partakes of the vertues of it, but of the other end also, 
whether it will or not ..." 

Chap. XLVIII is headed " Whether Garlick can hinder the vertues 
of the loadstone." By Porta we are informed that " Plutarch saith 
Garlick is at great enmity with the loadstone; and such antipathy 
and hatred there is between these invisible creatures, that if a load- 
stone be smeered with Garlick, it will drive away iron from it," 
which is confirmed by Ptolemy, who states " that the loadstone will 
not draw iron, if it be anoynted with Garlick; as Amber will no 
more draw straws, and other light things to it, if they be first steeped 
in oyl." He found that when the loadstone " was all anoynted 
over the juice of Garlick, it did perform its office as well as if it had 
never been touched with it." 

In Chap. LIII Porta denies " that the diamond doth hinder the 
loadstone's vertue." " Some pretend," says he, " there is so much 
discord between the qualities of the loadstone and the diamond, 
and they are so hateful, one against the other, and secret enemies, 
that if the diamond be put to the loadstone, it presently faints and 
loses all its forces. (Pliny.) The loadstone so disagree th with the 
diamond, that if iron be laid by it, it will not let the loadstone draw 
it ; and if the loadstone do attract it, it will snatch it away again 
from it. (St. Augustine.) I will say that I have read of the load- 
stone : how that, if the diamond be by it, it will not draw iron ; and, 
if it do when it comes necr the diamond, it will let it fall " (Marbo- 
deus, of the Loadstone . . . Marbodei Galli . . . de lapidibus 
prctiosis Enchiridion . . . Freiburg, 1530, 1531) : 

" All loadstones by their vertue iron draw; 
But of the diamond it stands in awe : 
Taking the iron from't by Nature's Law." 

" I tried this often, and found it false ; and that there is no truth in 

With reference to the above, see Plat (at A.D. 1653), who also 
alludes to the fact of the softening of the diamond with Goat's blood. 
This is alluded to by Porta in the next chapter. 

Chapter LIV contains extracts from Castianus in Geoponic. 
Grace., Marbodeus and Rhenius, the interpreter of Dionysius. 

In 1560 there was established at Naples, by the versatile Giam. 


della Porta, the first Academy of Sciences Academia Secretum 
Naturae to which were admitted only those who had contributed 
to the advancement of medicine or to scientific studies in general 
(" Science," December 19, 1902, p. 965). 

REFERENCES. Libri, " Hist, des Sc. Mathem." Vol. IV. pp. 108-140, 
399-406; Houzeau ct Lancaster, Vol. II. p. 229; The Fourth Dissertation 
of the " Encycl. Brit.," p. 624; Sarpi, at A.D. 1632; Poggendorff, " Ges- 
chichte der Physik," 1879, pp. 133, 273-274 ; " Encycl. Brit./' the article 
on " Optics "; " Journal des Savants " for September 1841. 

A.D. 1575-1624. Boehm Bohme Behmen (Jacob) , a 
mystical German writer, known as the theosophist par excellence, 
is the author of " Aurora," etc. (1612), " De Tribus Principiis " (1619) 
and of many other treatises, which were reprinted under the title of 
" Theosophia Revelata," and which contain his many very curious 
observations concerning astrology, chemistry, theology, philosophy 
and electricity. 

REFERENCES. " Notice sur J. Boehm," La Motte-Fouqu6, 1831 ; 
" Notes and Queries " for July 28, 1855, p. 63; Ninth " Britan.," Vol. 
III. p. 852; J. Ennemoscr, " History of Magic," Vol. II. pp. 297-328. 

A.D. 1576. Norman (Robert), a manufacturer of compass 
needles at Wapping, is the first who determined the dip or inclination 
to the earth of the magnetic needle in London, by means of a dipping 
needle (inclinatorium) of his own making. Five years later (1581) 
Norman publishes a pamphlet " The Newe Attractive, containing 
a short discourse of the Magnes or Lodcstone, and amongest other 
his vertues, of a newe discouered secret, and subtill propertie 
concernyng the Declinyng of the Needle, touched therewith, under 
the Plaine of the Horizon ..." from which is taken the following : 

" Hauing made many and diuers compasses and using alwaics 
to finish and end them before I touched the needle, I 'found con- 
tinuallie that after I had touched the yrons with the stone, that 
prcsentlie the north point thereof woulde bend or decline downwards 
under the horizon in some quantitie; in so much that to the flie 
of the compass, which was before levell, I was still constrained to 
put some small piece of ware on the south point and make it equall 
againe . . ." (Weld, " History of the Royal Society," 1848, Vol. II. 

P- 432). 

In the fourth chapter of his work, Norman describes the mode 
of making the particular instrument with which he was enabled to 
establish the first accurate measurement of the dip " which for 
this citie of London, I finde, by exact obseruations to be about 
71 degrees 50 mynutes." 

Whewell thus alludes to several investigations in the same 
line : 


" Other learned men have, in long navigations, observed the 
differences of magnetic variations, as Thomas Hariot, Robert Hues, 
Edward Wright, Abraham Kendall, all Englishmen : others have 
invented magnetic instruments and convenient modes of observation 
such as are requisite for those who take long voyages, as William 
Borough, in his book concerning the variation of the compass ; 
William Barlo, in his ' Supplement ' ; Robert Norman, in his 
' Newe Attractive.' This is that Robert Norman (a good seaman 
and an ingenious artificer) who first discovered the dip of magnetic 
iron " (" Enc. Metr.," p. 738; read also paragraph 366 of J. F. W. 
Herschel's " Prelim. Disc.," 1855). 

In Book I. chap. i. of Gilbert's " De Magneto," he says that 
Norman posits a point and place toward which the magnet looks 
but whereto it is not drawn : toward which magnetized iron, 
according to him, is collimatcd but which does not attract it. Pie 
alludes again to this " respective point " (Book IV. chaps, i. and vi.), 
saying that Norman originated the idea of the " respective point " 
looking, as it were, toward hidden principles, and held that toward 
this the magnetized needle ever turns, and not toward any attrac- 
tional point : but he was greatly in error, albeit he exploded the 
ancient false opinion about attraction. Gilbert then proceeds to 
show how this theory is proved by Norman. The original passage 
in Norman's " Newe Attractive " (London, 1581, Chap. VI) is as 
follows : 

" Your reason towards the earth carricth some probabilitie, 
but I prove that there be no Attractive, or drawing pro port ic in 
neyther of these two partcs, then is the Attractive poynt lost, and 
falsly called the poynt Attractive, as shall bo proved. But because 
there is a certain poynt that the needle alwayes respecteth or 
sheweth, being voide and without any Attractive propertio : in my 
judjmcnt this poynt ought rather to bee called the poynt Respective. 
. . . This poynt Respective, is a certaync poynt, which the touched 
needle doth always Respect or shew. ..." 

For the means of determining the dip or inclination, see " English 
Ency." Arts and Sciences Vol. VIII. p. 160. 

We have thus far learned that the declination or variation was 
alluded to by Peter Peregrinus (A.D. 1269) in the Leyclen MS. ; 
that Norman was the first to determine the dip or inclination, and 
we shall, under the 1776 date, find that Borda determined the third 
magnetic element called the intensity. 

In 1581 appeared " The riewe attractive ... a discours of 
the variation of the cumpas . . . made by W. B(orough)." This 
wjs followed, in 1585 and in 1596, by " The ncwe Attractive . . . 
newly corrected and amended by M. W. B.," also, in 1614, by 


" The New Attractive, with the application thereof for finding the 
true variation of the compass, by W. Burro wes." 

Norman is also the author of " The safegarde of Saylers, or 
Great Rutter . . . translated out of Dutch ... by R. Norman," 
1590, 1600, 1640. 

REFERENCES. Noad, " Manual of Electricity," London, 1859, p. 
525; Gassendi, at A.D. 1632; Humboldt, "Cosmos," 1859-1860, Vol. I. 
p. 179; Vol. II. pp. 281, 335; Vol. V. p. 58; Geo. Hartmann, A.D. 1543- 
1544; " Mature," Vol. XI 11. p. 523; Walker, " Magnetism," p. 146, and, 
for a photo reproduction of the title-page to the 1581 edition as well as 
a copy of its contents, see G. Hellniann " Ncudrucke . . ." 1898, No. 10; 
also Sidney Lee, " Diet, of Nat. Biogr.," Vol. XLI. p. 114, and William 
Winston (1667-1752), " The Longitude and Latitude, discovered by the 
Inclinatory or Dipping Needle," London, 1721. 

A.D. 1580. The celebrated naturalist Li-tchi-tchin, who 
finished his Pen-thsao-Kang-Mou towards the end of 1580, says : 
" If the loadstone was not in love with iron it would not attract the 
latter." Eight and a half centuries before, about the year A.D. 727, 
the same allusion had been made by Tchin-Thsang-Khi in his 
" Natural History " (Klaproth, " Lettre a M. de Humboldt ..." 
Paris, 1834, p. 20). 

A.D. 1580. In Parke's translation of the " History of the 
Kingdom of China," written by Juan G. de Mendoza, a Spanish 
missionary sent to the Chinese Empire by Philip II, appears the 
following (Vol. II. p. 36) : " The Chinos doo gouerne their ships 
by a compasse deuided into twelue partes and doo vse no sea cardes, 
but abriefe description of Ruter (Ruttier Routier direction book) 
wherewith they do nauigate or saile." 

A.D. 1581. Burrowes Borough Burroigh (William), " a man 
of unquestionable abilities in the mathematiques," Comptroller of 
the English navy in the reign of Elizabeth, who has been alluded 
to as Robert Norman, is the first in Europe to publish well authenti- 
cated observations upon the magnetic variation or declination made 
by him from actual observation, while voyaging between the North 
Cape of Finmark and Vaigatch (Vaygates). These are recorded at 
length in his little book dedicated to " the travaillers, sea-men and 
mariners of England " and entitled " A Discourse of the Variation 
of the Cumpas, or Magneticall Needle. Wherein is Mathematically 
shewed, the manner of the observation, effects, and application 
thereof, made by W. B. And is to be annexed to The Newe Attrac- 
tive of R. N. 1581 (London)." 

At pp. 7 and 8 of his " Terrestrial and Cosmical Magnetism," 
Cambridge, 1866, Mr. Walker gives extracts from the twelve chapters 
of Burrowes' work which, " containing, as it does, the first recorded 


attempt at deducing the declination of the needle from accurate 
observations, must be considered as making an epoch in the history 
of terrestrial magnetism/' 

REFERENCES. Johnson, " New Univ. Encycl.," 1878, Vol. III. 
p. 230, and the tables of the variations at pp. 274-275 of Vol. II. of 
Cavallo's " Elements of Natural Philosophy," 1825. See the photo 
reproduction of " A Discourse . . ." 1596 ed. in G. Hellmann's 
" Neudrucke . . ." 1898, No. 10. 

A.D. 1585. Juan Jayme and Francisco Galli made a voyage 
from the Phillipines to Acapulco, solely for the purpose of testing 
by a long trial in the South Sea a declinatorium of Jayme 's 
invention, from which M. de Humboldt says (" Cosmos," 1859, 
Vol. V. p. 56) some idea may be formed of the interest excited in 
reference to terrestrial magnetism during the sixteenth century. 

A.D. 1586. Vigenere (Blaise de), in his annotations to Livy 
(" Les cinq premiers livres de Tite-Live," Paris, 8vo, Vol. I. col. 1316) 
alludes to the possibility of communicating the contents of a letter 
through a thick stone wall by passing a loadstone over correspond- 
ing letters circumscribing the compass needle. 

REFERENCES. "Emporium of Arts and Sciences," Vol. I. p. 302; 
Fahic, p. 20. 

A.D. 1589. Acosta (Joseph d'), learned Jesuit, who has been 
already mentioned under the A.D. 121 entry, says in Chap. XVII. 
lib. i. of his masterly " Historia Natural de las Indias " (" Histoire 
Naturelle et Moralle des Indes tant Orientalles qu'Occidentalles," 
traduite par Robert Reynault Cauxois, 1598, 1606) that he is able 
to indicate four lines of no variation (instead of one only discovered 
by Columbus) dividing the entire surface of the earth : " foure 
poyntes in all the world, whereas the needle looked directly towards 
the North." Humboldt remarks that this may have had some 
influence on the theory advanced, in 1683, by Halley, of four mag- 
netic poles or points of convergence. 

REFERENCES. Humboldt, " Cosmos," 1859-1860, Vol. I. pp. 66, 193, 
note; Vol. II. pp. 280, 281; Vol. V. p. 140. 

A.D. 1590. Caesare (Giulio-Moderati) , a surgeon of Rimini, 
observes the conversion of iron into a magnet by position alone. 
This effect was noticed on a bar which had been used as a support 
to a piece of brickwork erected on the top of one of the towers of 
the church of St. Augustine as is mentioned at the 1632 entry of 
Pietro Sarpi. 

A.D. 1597. Barlowe Barlow (William) who died May 25, 
1625, and was Archdeacon of Salisbury publishes his " Navigators' 


Supply/' from which the following is extracted : " Some fewe 
yeares since, it so fell out that I had severall conferences with 
two East Indians which were brought into England by Master 
Candish (Thomas Cavendish, one of the great navigators of the 
Elizabethan Age) and had learned our language. . . . They shewed 
that in steade of our compas they (in the East Indies) use a mag- 
neticall needle of sixe ynches long . . . upon a pinne in a dish of 
white china earth filled with water; in the bottome whereof they 
have two crosse lines for the foure principal! windes, the rest of the 
divisions being reserved to the skill of their pilots." 

Barlowe also published in 1613, 1616 and 1618 different editions 
of his work on the magnet, the full title of the last named being 
" Magneticall Advertisements or diners pertinent obseruations and 
approued Experiments concerning the nature and properties of 
the Load-stone. Whereunto is annexed a briefe Discoverie of the 
idle Animadversions of Mark Ridley, Dr. in Physike upon this 
treatize." 1 Therein (Preface to the reader), he speaks of " That 
wonderful propertie of the body of the whole earth called the 
magneticall vertuc (most admirably foundc out and as learnedly 
demonstrated by Doctor Gilbert, physitian vnto our late renowned 
soveraigne Queen Elizabeth of happy memory) is the very true 
fount aine of all magneticall knowledge. So that although certain 
properties of the load-stone were knowne before; yet all the reasons 
of those properties were vtterly vnknowne and never before revealed 
(as I take it) vnto the sonnes of man. ..." Just before the Preface 
appears the following letter which (as William Sturgeon remarks) 
affords a good idea of the opinion entertained by Gilbert of Barlowe's 
talents in this branch of science : "To the Worshipfull, my good 
friend, Mr. William Barlow, at Easton by Winchester. Recom- 
mendations with many thanks for all your paines and courtesies, 
for your diligence and enquiring, and finding diuers good secrets, 
I pray proceede with double capping your Loadstone you speake 
of, I shall bee glad to see you, as you write, as any man. I will 
haue any leisure, if it were a moneth, to conferre with you, you haue 
shewed mee more, and brought more light than any man hath* 
done. Sir, I will commend you to my L. of Effingham, there is 
heere a wise learned man, a Secretary of Venice, he came sent by 
that State, and was honourably receiued by her Majesty, he brought 
me a lattin letter from a Gentleman of Venice that is very well 
learned, whose name is lohannes Franciscus Sagredus, he is a great 
Magneticall man and writeth that hee hath conferred with diuers 

1 It is in the " Epistle Dedicatorie " to this work that Barlowe is shown 
to have been the first to make use of the word magnetisme. 


learned men of Venice, and with the Readers of Padua, and reporteth 
wonderfull liking of my booke, you shall haue a coppy of the latter : 
Sir, I purpose to adioyne an appendix of six or eight sheets of paper 
to my booke after a while, I am in hand with it of some new inuen- 
tions, and I would haue some of your experiments, in your name and 
inuention put into it, if you please, that you may be knowen for an 
augmenter of the art. So far this time in haste I take my leaue 
the XIII of February. Your very louing friend, W. GILBERT." 

Speaking of William Barlowe, Anthony a Wood says : " This 
was the person who had knowledge of the magnet twenty years 
before Dr. Will. Gilbert published his book of that subject, and 
therefore by those that knew him he was accounted superior, or 
at least equal, to that doctor for an industrious and happy searcher 
and finder out of many rare and magnctical secrets " (" Athenae 
Oxonicnses," London, 1813, Vol. II. p. 375). Under heading of 
Gilbert, the " British Museum Catalogue of Printed Books," 1888, 
has it that " Mag. Adv." was compiled partly from " Do Magnete." 

KLi'KUKNci'S. - Maik Ridley, " Magn Animnd.," 1017, p. xi ; 
('avallo, " Magnetism," 1787, p. 46; A.D. J3<>2; Sidney Lee, " Did. of 
Nat. Biogr.," Vol. III. pp. 233-234; " La Grande Encyd." (II. Laiiii- 
sanlt), Vol. V. p. 430; Pierre Laronsse, "Grand Diet. Univ. du xix e 
siecJe," Fans, 1867, Vol. II. p. 2 Y) ', Claude Auge, " Le Nouveau 
Larousse," Vol. I. p. 738; " Wood's Ath. Ox." (Bliss), Vol. 11. p. 375; 
Hoofer, " Nouv. Riogr. Univ.," Vol. IV. p. 53; " Biogr. Bntannira " ; 
Hutton, " Mathem. Diet."; " British Annual," 1. 

A.D. 1599. Wright (Edward), English mathematician, con- 
nected with the East India Company and author of the Preface to 
Gilbert's original " I)e Magnete," published in London " Die Haven- 
vinding The Haven-finding Art : Translation of Simon Stevinus' 
' Portuum investigandorum ratio/ " in which is urged the advantage 
of keeping registers of the variations observed on all voj T ages. Thus, 
says Lardner, the variation of the variation not only as to time, 
but as to place, had at this period begun to receive the attention 
of those engaged in navigation. 

Wright constructed for Prince Henry a large sphere which 
represented the motion of the planets, moon, etc., and he predicted 
the eclipses for seventeen thousand one hundred years. He is 
said to have discovered the mode of constructing the chart which 
is known by the name of Mercator's Projection. 

Simon Stevinus, above mentioned, also called Stephanus Simon 
of Bruges was a most distinguished mathematician and physicist 
(1548-1628), and is alluded to by Edward Wright not only in the 
Preface to Gilbert's " De Magnete " above referred to, but also 
in Book IV. chap. ix. of the latter work The English translation 
of " Portuum investigandorum ratio " was afterwards attached to 


the third edition of Wright's " Ccrtaine errors in navigation detected 
and corrected/' 

REFERENCES. "English Cyel.," Vol. VI. p. 834; " Hiogr. G6n6r.," 
Vol. XL1V. pp. 496408; Laroussc, "Diet.," Vol. XIV. p. 1100; G. 
Hellmann, " Neudruekc . . ." 1898, No. 10; "Chambers' Encycl.," 
1892, Vol. IX., p. 725; " La Grande Encycl.," Vol. XXX. pp. 489-490; 
Montucla, " Hist, des Mai hem.." Paris, An. VIII. Vol. 11; Quelelet, 
also Van dc Wcycr, " Simon Stexin," 1845; " Memoircs de I'Acad^mie," 
Paris, 1753, p. 275; Steirhen, " Vie et Travaux dc S. Stevin," 18^6; 
" Terrestrial Magnetism," Vol. 1. p. 153, and Vol. II. pp. 37, 72, 78. 

A.D. 1599. Pancirollus (Guido) Panciroli (Gui) already 
quoted at A.D. 121, further remarks : " The ancients sailed by the 
pole star, which they call Cynosura. The compass is believed to 
have been found at Amalii, about 300 years ago by one Flavins. 
And this unknown fellow (if it was Flavins) hath deserved more 
than 10,000 Alexanders and as many Aristotles. . . . This single 
act hath improved knowledge and done more good to the world 
than all the niceties of the subtle schools." 

REFEEF.NCKS. "History of Things Lost," London, 1715, Vol. IF. 
P- 338; ('Hesse, Vol. V. p. 117; also his biography in Laroussc, " Diet. 
Univ.," Vol. XII. p. 108, and in the "Diet, de "Biographic," Vol. IT. 

p. 2012. 

A.D. 1600. Schwonter (Danicll), Professor of Oriental 
languages at Altdorff, describes, under the assumed name of Janus 
Hercules de Sunde, in his " Steganologia et Steganographia," the 
means of communicating intelligence at a distance by employing two 
compass needles circumscribed with an alphabet, the needles being 
shaped from the same piece of steel, and magnetized by the same 

Under caption " The First Idea of the Electric Telegraph," the 
following appeared in the " Journal of the Franklin Institute," 
Vol. XXI. 1851, p. 202 : " In the number of the Philosophical 
Magazine for May, 1850, I [N. S. Heine ken] observe that Prof. 
Mauiioir claims, for his friend Dr. Odier, the first idea of the 
electric telegraph. I herewith send you a translation of ' How 
two people might communicate with each other at a distance 
by means of the magnetic needle/ taken from a German work 
by Schwcnter, entitled ' Deliciae Physico-Mathematicae/ and 
published at Nurnberg in 1636 . . . upward of a century before 
the period alluded to by Prof. Maunoir. Indeed, Oersted's grand 
discovery was alone wanting to perfect the telegraph in 1636. 
The idea, in fact, appears to have been entertained prior even to 
this date, for Schwenter himself quotes, at p. 346, from a previous 
author." This " previous author " is either Giambattista della 


Porta, mentioned at A.D. 1558, or Famianus Strada, who appears 
herein under the A.D. 1617 date. 

Tho passage from Dr. Louis Odier's letter relative to an electric 
telegraph is given at A.D. 1773 (see J. J. Fahie, " A History of 
Electric Telegraphy to the Year 1837," London, 1884, pp. 21-22). 

A.D. 1600. Gilbert Gilberd Gylberde (William), of Col- 
chester (1544-1603), physician to Queen Elizabeth and to James I of 
England, justly called by Poggendorff " The Galileo of Magnetism," 
publishes his " DC magnete, Magneticisque Corporibus, el de Magno 
ma gncte tcllure ; Physiologia nova, plurimis d argument^ d experi- 
ment! s dcmonstrata," to which he had given " seventeen years of 
intense labour and research " l and which he dedicates " alone to the 
true philosophers, ingenuous minds, who not only in books but in 
things themselves look for knowledge/' and wherein the phenomena 
of electricity arc first generalized and classified. 

This great work is subdivided into six books, which respectively 
treat of the loadstone, of magnetic movements (coitio), of direction 
(direct to), of variation (variatio), of declination (declinatio), and of 
the great magnet, the earth 2 of circular movement (revolutio). 


After Gilbert has given in this Book an account of ancient and 
modern writings on the loadstone, 3 he indicates exactly what the 
latter is, where found, its different properties, and, having introduced 

1 " Imperial Diet, of Universal Biography," Vol. II. p. 626. 

2 The earth itseli is a magnet according to Gilbert, who considered that 
1he inflections of the lines of equal declination and inclination depend upon 
the distribution of mass, the configuration of continents, or the form and 
extent of the deep, intervening ocean basins. It is difficult to connect the 
periodic variations which characterize the three principal forms of magnetic 
phenomena (the isoclinic, the isogonic and the isodynamic lines) with this 
rigid system of the distribution of force and mass, unless we represent to 
oui selves the attractive force of the material particles modified by similar 
periodic changes of temperature in the interior of the terrestrial planet. . . . 
Of these lines, the isogonic are the most important in their immediate applica- 
tion to navigation, whilst we find from the most recent views that the isody- 
namic, especially those which indicate the horizontal force, arc the most 
valuable elements in the theory of terrestrial magnetism (Humboldt, 
"Cosmos," 1859-1860, Vol. 1. pp. 180-181, 185; Vol. II. p. 334, wherein 
references are made to Gauss, " Resultate der JBeob. des Magn. Vereins," 
1838, s. 21 ; Sabinc, " Report on the Variations of the Magnetic Intensity," 

P- 63). 

3 The reader is referred to Appendix I herein for " Accounts of early 
writers and others alluded to in Gilbert's ' De Magriete,' not already disposed 
of throughout this Bibliographical History." Gilbert says that only a few 
points touching the loadstone are briefly mentioned by Marbodeus Gallus, 
Albert us, Mattoeus Siivaticus, Hermolaus Barbarus, Camillus Leonhardus, 
Cornelius Agrippa, Fallopins, Joannes Langius, Cardinal de Cusa, Hannibal 
Rosetius Calaber, all of whom repeat only the figments of others. 


us to his terrella-microge, or little earth 1 a globular loadstone, 
showing that it has poles answering to the earth's poles, he tells us 
all about iron ore, its natural and acquired poles, the medicinal 
virtues attributed by the ancients to iron as well as to the loadstone ; 
and he ends this First Book with the announcement that loadstone 
and iron ore are the same, that iron is obtained from both, like 
other metals from their ores, and that all magnetic properties exist, 
though weaker, both in smelted iron and in iron ore ; furthermore, 
that the terrestrial globe is magnetic and is a loadstone; and that 
just as in our hands the loadstone possesses all the primary powers 
(forces) of the earth, so the earth, by reason of the same potencies, 
lies ever in the same direction throughout the universe. 


The justly famous Second Book contains Gilbert's electrical 
work and, as is generally known, the second chapter thereof is the 
earliest ever published on electricity. We are here introduced to 
Gilbert's versorium a rotating needle electroscope 2 and are 
given the results of his many experimental observations 3 and the 
opinions of others relative to magnetic coition or attraction. We 
find, throughout the whole of the second chapter, the first systematic 
study of amber, with an interesting list of electrics and the recogni- 
tion of a groiip of anelectrics non-electrics. After pointing out 
the different kinds of attractions admitted by Galen and other 
ancient writers, we are told that : 

1 Sir Kenelm Digby (" Treatise of the Nature of Bodies," 1645, Chap. XX. 
p. 225) says that the manner in which Gilbert " arrived to discover so much 
of magnetical philosophy " and " all the knowledge he got on the subject, 
was by forming a little loadstone into the shape of the earth. By which 
means he composed a wonderful dcsigne, which was to make the whole 
globe of the earth maniable ; for he found the properties of the whole earth 
in that little body . . . which he could manage and try experiments upon 
at his will . . ." In the note at p. 47 (P. Peregrinus, A.D. 1269), it will be 
seen that the terrella was constructed by both in practically the same manner : 
only Peregrinus considered it " a likeness to the heavens," whilst Gilbert 
regarded it as the earth itself. 

2 The magnetized versorium consisted of a piece of iron, or needle, 
resting upon a point, or pin, and was put in motion, excited, by the loadstone 
or natural magnet. The non-magnetized versorium was made of any sort 
of metal, for use in electrical experiments (" De Magnetc," Book II. chap. ii. ; 
Book III. chap. i.). 

3 Asterisks. As Gilbert remarks in his Author's Preface, he has set over 
against " the great multitude " of his discoveries and experiments larger 
and smaller asterisks according to their importance and their subtility; all 
of his experiments having been, says he, " investigated and again and 
again done and repeated under our eyes." There are, in all, 178 small and 
21 large asterisks, some of them being attached to illustrations, of which latter 
there are as many as 84 throughout the work. See Appendix II herein. 


" Only feeble power of attraction is possessed by some electrics 
(all which have their own distinct effluvia) in favouring dry atmo- 
sphere : observable in midwinter while the atmosphere is very cold, 
clear and thin, when the electric effluvia of the earth offer less impedi- 
ment and electric bodies are harderthat these bodies then draw, 
as well, all metals, wood, leaves, stones, earths, even water and oil, 
in short, whatever things appeal to our senses or are solid. 

" All bodies" are attracted by electrics, save those which are afire 
or flaming or extremely rarefied. 

" Very many electric bodies do not attract at all, unless they are 
first rubbed. An ordinal*}' piece of amber does not attract by heat, 
even when brought to the flaming point, but it attracts by friction, 
without which latter few bodies give out their true natural electric 
emanation and effluvium. By friction, the amber is made moder- 
ately hot and also smooth; those conditions must in most cases 
concur; but a largo polished piece of amber or of jot attracts even 
without friction, though not so strongly ; yet, if it be carefully brought 
nigh to a flame or a red coal, it does not attract corpuscles; further, 
the sun's heat heightened by means of a burning-glass imparts no 
power to amber, for it dissipates and spoils all the electric effluvia. 
Again, flaming sulphur and burning sealing-wax (of lac) do not 

" The loadstone, though susceptible of very high polish, has not 
the electric attraction. The force does not come through the lustre 
proceeding from the rubbed and polished electric ; for the vincentina, 
diamond and pure glass attract when they are rough. Effluvia that 
attract but feebly when the weather is clear produce no motion at 
all when it is cloudy. For the effluvium from rock crystal, glass, 
diamond substances very hard and very highly compressed there 
is no need of any notable outflow of substance. Such an electric 
as sound cypress-wood, after a moment's friction, emits powers 
subtle and fine, far beyond all odours ; but sometimes an odour is 
also emitted by amber, jet, sulphur, these bodies being more readily 
resolved; hence it is that, usually, they attract after the gentlest 
friction because their effluvia are stronger and more lasting. 

" Rock crystal, mica, glass, and other electric bodies do not attract 
if they be burned or highly heated, for their primordial humour is 
destroyed by the heat, is altered, is discharged as vapour. All 
bodies that derive their origin principally from humours and that 
are firmly concreted attract all substances whether humid or dry; 
but bodies consisting mostly of humour and not firmly compacted 
by nature, wherefore they do not stand friction but either fall to 
pieces or grow soft or are sticky, do not attract corpuscles. 

" Electrical movements come from the matter (materia) but 


magnetic from the prime form (forma). Moist air blown from the 
mouth, moisture from steam, or a current of humid air from the 
atmosphere chokes the effluvium. But olive oil that is light and 
pure does not prevent it ; and, if a sheet of paper or a linen cloth be 
interposed, there is no movement. But loadstone, neither rubbed 
nor heated, and even though it be thoroughly drenched with liquid, 
and whether in air or water, attracts magnetic bodies, and that 
though solidest bodies or boards or thick slabs of stone or plates 
of metal stand between. 

" Electrics attract all things save flame and objects aflame, and 
thinnest air . . . for it is plain that the effluvia are consumed by 
flame and igneous heat . . . yet they draw to themselves the smoke 
from an extinguished candle ; and, the lighter the smoke becomes as 
it ascends, the less strongly is it attracted, for substances that are 
too rare do not suffer attraction." 

This Chapter II ends with the following explanation of the differ- 
ence between electric and magnetic bodies, viz. all magnetic bodies 
come together by their joint forces (mutual strength) ; electric 
bodies attract the electric only, and the body attracted undergoes 
no modification through its own native force, but is drawn freely 
under impulsion in the ratio of its matter (composition). Bodies 
are attracted to electrics in a right line toward the centre of elec- 
tricity ' a loadstone approaches another loadstone on a line perpen- 
dicular to the circumference only at the poles, elsewhere obliquely 
and transversely, and adheres at the same angles. The electric 
motion is the motion of conservation of matter ; the magnetic is that 
of arrangement and order. The matter of the earth's globe is brought 
together and held together by itself electrically. The earth's globe 
is directed and revolves magnetically; it both coheres, and, to the 
end it may be solid, it is in its interior fast joined. 

Of the other interesting chapters in this Book II, attention is 
called more particularly to : 

Chap. IV. " Of the strength of a loadstone and its form : the cause 
of coition." The magnetic nature is proper to the earth and 
is implanted in all its real parts . . . there is in the earth a 
magnetic strength or energy (vigour) of its own . . . thus we 
have to treat of the earth, which is a magnetic body, a loadstone. 
An iron rod held in the hand is magnetized in the end where 
it is grasped and the magnetic force travels to the other ex- 
tremity, not along the surface only but through the inside, 
through the middle. . . . Iron instantly receives from the 
loadstone verticity and natural conformity to it, being abso- 
lutely metamorphosed into a perfect magnet. As soon as it 


comes within the loadstone's sphere of influence it changes 
instantly and has its form renewed, which before was dormant 
and inert, but now is quick and active. 

Chaps. VI and XXVII illustrate the Orbis Virtutis (Orb of Virtue, 
or the magnetic atmosphere surrounding both earth and load- 
stone alike), showing how the earth and loadstone conform 
magnetic movements, the centre of the magnetic forces of the 
earth being the earth's centre and in the terrella the terrella's 
centre. All loadstones alike, whether spherical or oblong, have 
the selfsame mode of turning to the poles of the world . . . 
whatever the shape, verticity is present and there are poles. 

Chap. VII. "Of the potency of the magnetic force, and of its 
spherical extension." The magnetic energy is not hindered 
by any dense or opaque body, but goes out freely and diffuses 
its force every whither : in the case of the terrella, and in a 
spherical loadstone, it extends outside the body in a circle, 
but, in the case of an oblong loadstone, it extends into an area 
of form determined by the shape of, and is everywhere equi- 
distant from, the stone itself. 

Chap. XIII. " Of the magnetic axis and poles." 

Chap. XV. " The magnetic force imparted to iron is more apparent 
in an iron rod than in an iron sphere or cube, or iron in any 
other shape." 

Chap. XVI. " Motion is produced by the magnetic force through 
solid bodies interposed : of the interposition of a plate of iron." 

Chaps. XVII-XXII. Herein are detailed as many as twelve different 
experiments to prove the increased efficiency of armed load- 

Chap. XXV. " Intensifying the loadstone's forces." Magnetic 
bodies can restore soundness (when not totally lost) to magnetic 
bodies, and can give to some of them powers greater than they 
originally had; but to those that are by their nature in the 
highest degree perfect, it is not possible to give further strength. 

Chap. XXVIII. " A loadstone does not attract to a fixed point or 
pole only, but to every part of a terrella, except the equi- 
noctial line." 

Chap. XXIX. " Of differences of forces dependent on quantity or 
mass." Four experiments. 

Chaps. XXXVIII and XXXIX are the last, and they treat of the 
attractions of other bodies and of mutually repellant bodies. 
All electrics attract objects of every kind : they never repel 
or propel. 

In the preceding Chapter XXXV, Gilbert had alluded to 
the perpetual-motion engine actuated by the attraction of a 


loadstone, which we have given an account of at Peter Pere- 
grinus, A.D. 1269. 


In this Third Book, we learn of the directive (or versorial) force 
which is called vcrticitas verticity what it is, how it resides in 
the loadstone, and how it is acquired when not naturally produced ; 
how iron acquires it and how this verticity is lost or altered; why 
iron magnetized takes opposite verticity; of magnetizing stones of 
different shapes ; why no other bodies save the magnetic are imbued 
with verticity by friction with a loadstone and why no body which 
is not magnetic can impart and awaken that force ; of disagreements 
between pieces of iron on the same pole of a loadstone, and how they 
may come together and be conjoined ; that verticity exists in all 
smelted iron not excited by the loadstone, as shown by its lying, 
being placed or, preferably, by hammering hot iron in the 
magnetic meridian ; that the magnetized needle turns to conformity 
with the situation of the earth; of the use of rotary needles and 
their advantages ; how the directive iron rotary needles of sundials 
and the needles of the mariner's compass are to be rubbed with 
loadstone in order to acquire stronger verticity. 


The Fourth Book treats of the variation at different places ; 
says that it is due to inequality among the earth's elevations ; 1 
shows that variation and direction are due to the controlling force 
of the earth and the rotatory magnetic nature, not by an attraction 
or a coition or by other occult cause; explains the different modes 
of constructing the mariner's compass, in vogue at the time, 2 and 
how the deviation of the needle is greater or less according to the 
distance of place. 


In this Fifth Book is to be found everything relative to the dip 
of the magnetic needle, likewise the description of an instrument 
for showing, by the action of a loadstone, the degree of dip below 
the horizon in any latitude ; and the announcement that the magnetic 

1 Humboldt, " Cosmos," 1849, Vol. I. p. 170, and Vol. II. pp. 717-718. 

2 Sir Wm. Thomson, " Good Words," 1879, p. 445. 

We have already indicated several modes of construction, notably at 
A.D. 1282 (Bailak of Kibdjak), at A.D. 1558 (G. B. Porta), as well as at A.D. 1597 
(Wm. Barlowe), and it is interesting to observe how all these vary, more 
particularly from the types described by Levinus Lcmnius in the " De 
Occulta Naturae Miracula," mentioned at B.C. 1033, and by Martinus Lipenius 
in his " Navigatio Salomonis Ophiritica " noted at A.D. 1250. 


force is animate or imitates a soul ; in many respects, it surpasses 
the human soul while that is united to an organic body. 


Throughout this last Book, Gilbert glories in the Copernican 
theory, the open, unquestioned, advocacy and endorsement of 
which according to many seems, after all, to have been the object 
of the work. He maintains that the magnetic axis of the earth 
remains invariable; he treats of the daily magnetic revolution of 
the globes, as against the time-honoured opinion of a primum 
mobile, the fixed stars being at different distances from the earth ; 
of the circular motion of the earth and of its primary magnetic 
nature, whereby her poles are made different from the poles of the 
ecliptic, as well as of the precession of the equinoxes and of the 
obliquity of the zodiac. 

According to Humboldt, 1 Gilbert was the first to make use of the 
words electric force, electric emanations, electric attraction, but, he 
says, there is not found in " De Magnete " either the abstract 
expression electricitas or the barbarous word magnctisimts introduced 
in the seventeenth century. We likewise owe to Gilbert the words 
equator, magncticum, tcrrclla, vcrsoriitm and vcrticitas, but not the 
word pole, which had before been used by P. Percgrinus and others. 

The second edition of " De Magnete " appeared at Stettin in 
1628, " embellished with a curious title-page in the form of a monu- 
ment . . . and a fantastic indication of the earliest European 
manner's compass, a floated lodestone, but floating in a bowl on 
the sea and left behind by the ship sailing away from it." 2 

The third edition was also published at Stettin during 1633. 
Gilbert left, besides, a posthumous work, " De Mundo Nostro 
Sublunari Philosophia Nova," Amsterdam, 1651, which latter, says 
Prof. Robison, consists of an attempt to establish a new system 
of natural philosophy upon the ruins of the Aristotelian doctrine. 3 

To give here such an analysis as Gilbert's admirable work merits 
would be impracticable, but the short review of it made by Prof. 
Robison (at p. 209 of his " System of Mechanical Philosophy," 
London, 1822) deserves full reproduction, as follows : " In the 

1 " Cosmos," i8f)O, Vol. IT. p. 3^1, or prior edition, 1849, Vol. II. p. 726. 

2 " Good Words," 1879, with a facsimile of the title-page at p. 383. 

3 According to Dr. John Davy, this " DC Mundo Nostro," which is but 
little known, "is a very remarkable book, both in style and matter; and 
there is a vigour and energy of expression belonging to it very suitable to 
its originality. Possessed of a more minute and practical knowledge of 
natural philosophy than Bacon, his opposition to the philosophy of the schools 
Wcis more searching and particular, and at 1he same time probably little less 
efficient " (" Memoirs of the Life of Sir Humphry Davy," London, 1836, 
Vol. I. p. 311). 


introduction, he recounts all the knowledge of the ancients on the 
subject treated, and their supine inattention to what was so entirely 
in their hands, and the impossibility of ever adding to the stock 
of useful knowledge, so long as men imagined themselves to be 
philosophizing, while they were only repeating a few cant words 
and the unmeaning phrases of the Aristotelian school. It is curious 
to mark the almost perfect sameness of Dr. Gilbert's sentiments 
and language with those of Lord Bacon. They both charge, in a 
peremptory manner, all those who pretend to inform others, to give 
over their dialectic labours, which arc nothing but ringing changes 
on a few trite truths, and many unfounded conjectures, and im- 
mediately to betake themselves to experiment. He has pursued 
this method on the subject of magnetism, with wonderful ardour, 
and with equal genius and success; for Dr. Gilbert was possessed 
both of great ingenuity, and a mind fitted for general views of things. 
The work contains a prodigious number and variety of experiments 
and observations, collected with sagacity from the writings of others, 
and instituted by himself with considerable expense and labour. 
It would, indeed, be a miracle if all of Dr. Gilbert's general inferences 
were just, or all his experiments accurate. It was untrodden ground. 
But, on the whole, this performance contains more real information 
than any writing of the age in which he lived, and is scarcely exceeded 
by any that has appeared since. We may hold it with justice as 
the first fruits of the Baconian or experimental philosophy/' Else- 
where, Prof. Robison remarks : " it is not saying too much of 
this work to affirm that it contains almost everything we know of 
magnetism. His unwearied diligence in searching every writing 
on the subject and in getting information from navigators, and his 
incessant occupation in experiments, have left very few facts 
unknown to him. We meet with many things in the writings of 
posterior inquirers, some of them of high reputation and of the 
present day, which are published and received as notable discoveries, 
but are contained in the rich collection of Dr. Gilbert." 

The Rev. Win. Whewell says in his " History of the Inductive 
Sciences " (Vol. III. p. 40.) that in the " De Magnete," a book of only 
240 pages, upon which Dr. Gilbert has been engaged for nearly 
eighteen years, are contained " all the fundamental facts of the 
science, so fully examined, indeed, that, even at this day, w r e have 
little to add to them." 

Dr. John Davy remarks (" Memoirs of the Life of Sir Humphry 
Davy," London, 1836, Vol. I. p. 309) : " Gilbert's work is worthy 
being studied, and I am surprised that an English Edition (transla- 
tion) of it has never been published." He also alludes to the well- 
known reproach thrown upon Gilbert's philosophy by Francis 


Bacon, who, in his " De Augmentis Scientiarum," observes that 
" Gilbert has attempted to raise a general system upon the magnet, 
endeavouring to build a ship out of materials not sufficient to 
make the rowing-pins of a boat." On the other hand, Digby and 
Barlowe place Gilbert upon a level with Harvey, Galileo, Gassendi 
and Descartes (" Nouvelle Biographic Ge'nerale," 1858, Vol. VIII. 
p. 494) while the celebrated historian of the Council of Trent, 
Fra Paolo Sarpi who will not be thought an incompetent judge 
names Gilbert, with Francis Vieta (the greatest French mathemati- 
cian of the sixteenth century) as the only original writer among 
his contemporaries (" Lettere di Fra Paolo," p. 31 ; Hallam, " Intro, 
to Lit.," 1859, Vol. II. p. 464). 

In Thos. Thomson's " History of the Royal Society," London, 
1812, the " De Magnete " is thus alluded to : " Dr. Gilbert's book 
on magnetism, published in 1600, is one of the finest examples of 
inductive philosophy that has ever been presented to the world. 
It is the more remarkable because it preceded the ' Novum Organum ' 
of Bacon, in which the inductive method of philosophizing was first 
explained." How far Gilbert was ahead of his time is best proven 
by the works of those who wrote on magnetism during the first 
few decades after his death. They contributed in reality nothing 
to the extension of this branch of physical science. Poggendorff, 
from whose " Geschichte der Physik," p. 286, this is extracted, 
as already stated, calls Gilbert " the Galileo of Magnetism." By 
Dr. Priestley, he was named " the Father of Modern Electricity." 

The tribute of Henry Hallam is to the following effect : " The 
year 1600 was the first in which England produced a remarkable 
work in physical science ; but this was one sufficient to raise a lasting 
reputation for its author. Gilbert, a physician, in his Latin treatise 
on the magnet, not only collected all the knowledge which others 
had possessed on the subject, but became at once the father of 
experimental philosophy in this island, and, by a singular felicity 
and acuteness of genius, the founder of theories which have been 
revived after a lapse of ages, and are almost universally received 
into the creed of science. Gilbert was one of the earliest Copernicans, 
at least as to the rotation of the earth, and, with his usual sagacity, 
inferred, before the invention of the telescope, that there are a 
multitude of fixed stars beyond the reach of our vision " (" Intro- 
duction to the Literature of the Fifteenth, Sixteenth and Seventeenth 
Centuries," London, 1859, Vol. II. p. 463). 

In the " Principal Navigations ..." Edinburgh, 1889, Vol. XII. 
p. 10, Richard Hakluyt speaks of ^ ... my worshipfull friend 
M. douctour Gilbert, a gentleman no lesse excellent in the chiefest 
secrets of the Mathematicks (as that rare iewel lately set forth 


by him in Latine doeth euidently declare) then in his oune 
profession of physicke." 

We conclude this account of Gilbert in the quaint words of old 
Dr. Fuller : " He has (said my informer l ) the clearness of Venice 
Glass without the Brittlcncss thereof, soon Ripe and long lasting 
is his Perfection. He commenced Doctor in Physick, and was 
Physician to Queen Elizabeth, who stamped on him many marks 
of her Favour, besides an annuall Pension to encourage his studies. 
He addicted himself to Chemistry, attaining to great exactness 
therein. One saith of him that he was Stoicall, but not Cynicall, 
which I understand Reserved ; but not Morose, never married, 
purposely to be more beneficial to his brethren. Such his Loyalty 
to the Queen that, as if unwilling to survive, he dyed in the same 
year with her, 1603. His Stature was Tall, Complexion Chearful, 
an Happiness not ordinary in so hard a student and so retired a 
person. He lyeth buried in Trinity Church in Colchester under a 
plain monument." 

" Mahomet's Tombe, at Media, is said strangely to hang up, 
attracted by some invisible Loadstone, but the memory of this 
Doctor will never fall to the ground, which his incomparable book 
' De Magnete * will support to eternity " (" The History of the 
Worthies of England Endeavoured by Thomas Fuller, D.D.," 
London, 1662, p. 332 Essex). 

In his Epistle to Dr. Walter Charleton, physician in ordinary 
to King Charles I (Epist. III. p. 15, Vol. XI of the Works of Dryden, 
London, 1803) the celebrated English poet predicts that : 

" Gilbert shall live till loadstones cease to draw 
Or British fleets the boundless ocean awe." 

REFERENCES. "La Grande Encyclopedic," Vol. XVIII. p. 930; 
" Dictionary of National Biography," London, 1890, Vol. XXL p. 338; 
" Bibliographica Britannica," London, 1757, Vol. IV. p. 2202; Laroussc, 
"Diet. Univ.," Vol. VIII. p. 123; " Freeman's Historic Towns " (Col- 
chester), by Rev. E. L. Cutts, 1888, p. 172; " Beauties of England and 
Wales," by E. W. Brayley and John Britton, 1810, Vol. V. (Colchester) 
pp. 318-319; Cooper, " Athena? Cantabrigienses," Cambridge, 1858; 
Anthony a Wood, " Athcnac Oxonienses," Ixmdon, 1813, Vol. I ; Thomas 
Wright, " Hist, and Top. of the County of Essex," 1866, Vol. I ; " Journal 
des Savants " for June 1859, Sept. 1870; Wm. Munk, " The Roll of the 
Royal College of Physicians of London," 1878, Vol. L p. 77; Humboldt, 
"Cosmos," 1859-1860, Vol. I. pp. 158-159, note, 177, 179, 182, note; 
Vol. II. pp. xvii, 279-281, 334-335, 341-342; Vol. V. p. 58 for references 
to and extracts from Dr. Gilbert's work; Wm. Wheweil, " Hist, of tho 
Ind. Sciences," Vol. L pp. 274-275, 394; Vol. II. pp. 192, 217-220, 224, 
225, and " Philosophy of the Ind. Sciences," London, 1840, Vol. II. 
pp. 374-379; " M6moires de Physique," Lausanne, 1754, pp. 123, etc.; 
" U.S. Magnetic Tables and Isogonic Charts for 1902," L. A. Bauer, 

1 Gilbert's near kinsman, Rev. William Gilbert, of Brental Ely, in Suffolk. 


pp. 1-77; " Popular Science Monthly," August 1901, pp. 337-350 for 
" Gilbert of Colchester," by Bro. Potamian, also its translation in " Ciel 
et Terrc " for Dec. i, 1902, pp. 472-480 and for Dec. 16, 1902, p. 489; 
" New, International Encyclopaedia," New York, 1903, Vol. VIII. p. 368; 
" William Gilbert of Colchester," by Conrad Wm. Cooke, London, 1890 
(reprinted from " Engineering," 1889) ; " William Gilbert of Colchester," 
by Dr. Silvanus P. Thompson, London, 1891 ; " William Gilbert of 
Colchester," a translation by P. Floury Mottclay, New York and London, 
1893; "William Gilbert of Colchester," a translation by members of 
the Gilbert Club, London, 1900, to which is appended a valuable collection 
of " Notes on the De JMagnete " of Dr. William Gilbert, by Dr. Silvanus 
P. Thompson, who therein also gives an interesting bibliography of this 
great work; " William Gilbert of Colchester," a sketch of his magnetic 
philosophy by Chas. K. Benham, Colchester, 1902 ; " Zur bibliographic 1 
von W. Gilbert's De Magneto," Von. G. Hellmann (" Terrestrial Magnet- 
ism and Atmospheric Electricity" for June 1902); " Teir. Magn. and 
Atm. Elect.," Vol. II. p. 45 for " The Earth a Great Magnet," by J. A. 
Fleming; " The Earth a Great Magnet," by Prof. Alfred M. Mayer, New 
York, 1872; Philip Morant, "History and Antiquities of Colchester," 
London, 1748; Bacon, " Novum Organum," Leyden, 1650, pp. 263-265; 
Kees' " Encyclopaedia," 1819, Vol. XVI. article " (Gilbert "; " A Course 
of Lectures on Natural Philosophy and the Mechanical Arts," by Thos. 
Young, London, 1807, Vol. L pp. 686, 747, 756; Vol. II. pp. in, 324, 436; 
" Critical Dictionary of Engl. Literature," S. Austin Allibone, Phil ad., 
1888, Vol. I. p. 668; " General Biographical Dictionary," John Gorton, 
London, 1833, Vol. II, mentioning Wood's " At hen. Ox.," Ilutchinson's 
" Biog.-Med.," and Allan's " G. Biography"; Phil. Trans, for 1667, 
Vol. II. pp. 527-531, also Baddam's abridgments, London, 1739, Vol. III. 
p. 129 and London, 17-15, Vol. L p. 97. 

A.D. 1601. Brahe (Tycho Tygge Thygho Tyge), who has 
been several times mentioned in this compilation and is referred to by 
Gilbert (" De Magnete," Book IV. chap. xii. also Book VI. chap, v.), 
was a distinguished Danish astronomer (b. 1546, d. 1601), the 
founder of modern astronomical calculations, whose investiga- 
tions and records of the positions of the stars and planets made 
possible the brilliant discoveries of Kepler and Newton. As 
Humboldt expresses it, the rich abundance of accurate observations 
furnished by Tycho Brahe, himself the zealous opponent of the 
Copernican system, laid the foundation for the discovery of those 
eternal laws of planetary movements which prepared imperishable 
renown for the name of Kepler, and which, interpreted by Newton, 
proved to be theoretically and necessarily true, have been now 
transferred into the bright and glorious domain of thought as 
the intellectual recognition of nature (" Cosmos," 1860, Vol. II. p. 313). 

As his very able biographer, Dr. J. L. E. Dreyer, of the Armagh 
Observatory, remarks in his admirable work (Edinburgh, 1890) : 
" Without Brahe, Kepler never could have found out the secrets of 
the planetary motions, and, in the words of Dclambre, ' Nous 
ignorerions pent etre encore le veritable systeme du mcmde.' The 
most important inheritance which Tycho left to Kepler and to 
posterity was the vast mass of observations all which, Kepler justly 


said, ' deserved to be kept among the royal treasures, as the reform 
of astronomy could not be accomplished without them . . / at 
one breath blowing away the epicycles and other musty appendages 
which disfigured the Copcrnican system. . . . Tycho Brahe had 
given Kepler the place to stand on and Kepler did move the 
world ! " 

Brahe was the first to recognize the variation, /. e. the inequality, 
in the moon's motion. Tn opposition to the opinion of Sedillot, 
M. Biot maintains that this fine discovery of Tycho by no means 
belongs to Abul-Wcfa, and that the latter was acquainted not with 
the " variation " but only with the second part of the " cvcction " 
(" Cosmos/' 1860, Vol. II. p. 222, wherein are many references to 
the Comptcs Rendus and to the " Journal des Savants "). 

The biographical division of the " English Cyclopaedia/' 1866, 
Vol. I. pp. 898-903, gives a list of Brahe's numerous writings, 
headed by his earliest publication, " DC Nova Stella," 1573, which 
is so extremely rare that, until 1890, when Dr. Dreyer gave a 
description of it, not a single historian of astronomy had ever seen 
it or been able to even give its title correctly (" Journal of Br. 
Astron. Assoc,/' Vol. XII. No. 2, p. 95; Houzeau et Lancaster, 
Vol. II. p. 598). A detailed account of its contents is given at 
pp. 44-56 of Dr. Dreyer 's 1890 work above alluded to, wherein we 
are further told of the protection given Brahe by the Landgrave 
William of Hesse-Cassel, as well as of the consequent aid so liberally 
extended by King Frederick II. Reference is likewise made to 
the fact that in December 1584 the King turned to Tycho for help, 
writing that he was under the impression he had returned a compass 
made by Tycho, believing there was something wrong with it ; 
that, if this proved to be the case, Tycho was to send back the 
compass, but, if not, he was to make two new ones similar to the 
old one (F. R. Friis, " Tyge Brahe/' p. 147). 

RKKKRKNCES. " Life of Tycho Brahe," by Gasscndi, containing the 
" Oratio Funcbris," etc., of John Jcsscnius ; Tessicr " Klogcs des homines 
illustres," Vol. IV. p. 383; Blount, " Censura/' etc.; " Epistohr ad 
Joh. Keplcrum," 1718; Riccioli, " Chronicon in Almagcsto Novo," 
Vol. T. p. 46; the biogreiphy by Malte-Brim in the " Biog. Univ./' 
wherein is to be found the list of all of Tycho Brahe's writings ; " English 
Cycl.," Supplement to Biography, p. 376, at Scipione Chiaromonti, for 
" Anti-Tycho " ; " Bulletin de la Sociele Astronomique de France," 
Janvier 1903; "Journal des Savants," Juin 1864; Humboldt, 
"Cosmos," 1860, Vol. III. pp. 158, 160, 162; "Nature" of Dec. 27, 
1900, p. 206, and " Nature," Vol. LXV. pp. 5-9, 104-106, 181, as well 
as the " Bulletin Astronomique," Paris, Avril 1902, pp. 163-166, for 
account of the celebrations of the Tercentenary of Tycho-Brahe's 
death, held at Prague and elsewhere, on Oct. 24, 1901, with illustrations 
of his observatory, etc. etc. ; " Gcschichtc der Mathcm. von Abraham 
G. Kastner/' Vol. II. pp. 376, etc., 613, etc. ; R. A. Proctor, " Old and 
New Astronomy," 1892 passim; " Biog. Gener.," 1890, Vol. XLV.pp. 750, 


755; "La Grande Encycl.," Vol. VII. pp. 962-963; Larousse, "Diet. 
Univ.," Vol. XV. pp. 613-614 ; " Encycl. Brit.," Edin., 1876, 
Vol. IV, p. 200. 

Consult likewise for Abul Wefa : " Le Journal des Savants," for 
Nov. 1841, Sept. 1843, Mar. 1845 and Oct. 1871; Houzeau et 
Lancaster, " Bibliog. Gen.," 1887, Vol. I. pp. 598-600, and Vol. II. 
pp. 92-93 ; " Bull, de la Soc. Acad. de Laon, " Janvier 1903, pp. 40- 
48 ; Leopold Von Ranke, " History of England," Vol. I. p. 367 and notes ; 
Wm. Whewell, " Phil, of the Ind. Sc.," London, 1840, Vol. II. pp. 386- 
388; Harold Hoffding, "A Hist, of Mod. Phil.," translated by B. E. 
Mayer, London, 1900, Vol. I. p. 428. 

A.D. 1602. Blundeville (Thomas) publishes at London, " The 
Theoriques of the Seuen Planets/ 1 etc., which, as the lengthy title 
goes to show, indicates " the making, description and vse of two 
ingenious and necessarie instruments for sea men to find out thereby 
the latitude of any place upon the sea or land, in the darkest night, 
that is, without the helpe of sunne, moone or starre ; first invented 
by M. Dr. Gilbert, a most excellent philosopher, and one of the 
ordinarie physicians to Her Majestie." 

He had previously published, in 1589, " A briefe description 
of universal mappes and cardes and of their use ; and also the use 
of Ptolemy his Tables/' which was followed, during 1594, by his 
well-known work on navigation. From the rare sixth edition of the 
latter (London, 1622) the curious title page is worth reproducing 
as follows : " M. Blundeville, His Exercises, contayning eight 
treatises, the titles whereof are set down in the next printed page : 
which treatises are very necessary to be read and learned of all 
Young Gentlemen that haue not beene exercised in such Disciplines 
and yet are desirous to haue knowledge as well in Cosmographie, 
Astronomic and Geographic, as also in the art of navigation, in 
which art it is impossible, to profit without the helpe of these or 
such like Instructions. To the furtherance of which Art of Naviga- 
tion the sayd Master Blundeville especially wrote the said Treatises 
and of meere good will doth dedicate the same to all Young Gentle- 
men of this Realme." The contents of this curious work treat of 
Arithmetic, Cosmography, Terrestrial and Celestial Globes, Peter 
Plancius, his Universal Map, Mr. Blagrau, his Astrolabe, The First 
Principles of Navigation, etc. etc. 

The Mr. Blagrau here mentioned is John Blagrave, eminent 
English mathematician, author of " The Mathematical Jewel," 
as well as of " The making and use of the familiar staffe/' of " The 
Art of Dialling," and of " Astro labium Uranicum Generate, a 
necessary and pleasunt solace and recreation for Navigators in 
their long journeying, containing the use of an instrument or 
astrolabe." From the last named, it appears that Blagrave was 
a convert to the heliocentric theory of Copernicus (" New Gen. 


Biog. Diet./' by Rev. H. J. Rose, London, 1850, Vol. IV. p. 277). 
The invention of the dipping needle by Mr. Blagrave was before 
the discovery of the change of the needle's variation by Mr. Gelli- 
brand (" Philos. Britan.," Benj. Martin, London, 1771, Vol. I. 
p. 46). 

REFERENCES. " Gen. Biogr. Diet." (Gorton), London, 1833, Vol. I; 
Mutton's abridgments of the Phil. Trans., London, 1739, Vol. IV. 
p. 103; "Diet, of Nat. Biog.," Leslie Stephen, London, 1886, Vol. V. 
pp. 157 and 271-272; "Gen. Biog. Diet.," Alex. Chalmers, London, 
1812, Vol. V. pp. 370-371 ; " Biog. Univ.," Paris, 1843, Vol. IV. p. 397; 
" Nouv. Biog. Generate " (Hoefer), Paris, 1853, pp. 170-171 ; Baddam's 
abridgments of the Phil. Trans., London, 1739, Vol. IV. p. 103; 
"Ames* Typog. Antiq." (Herbert), pp. 693, 694, 697-701; Bloomfield's 
"Norfolk," Vol. LX1V. pp. 68-70; Cooper's " Athene Cantab."; 
Davy's "Suffolk Coll.," Vol. LXXXIX. p. 215; Ilazlitt, "Coll. and 
Notes," 1876, also the second series. 

A.D. 1609. Kepler (Johann), who succeeded Tycho Brahe in 
1 60 1 as astronomer to the German Emperor Rudolph II, is the 
author of a treatise " On the Magnet," which was followed, during 
1609, by his greatest work, the " Astronomia Nova." The latter 
was deemed by Lalande of such importance that he considered it 
the duty of every astronomer to read it from beginning to end at 
least once in his lifetime. 

The " Astronomia " contains the extraordinary book " on the 
motion of Mars," and is said to hold the intermediate place, besides 
being the connecting link between the discoveries of Copernicus and 
those of Newton. Kepler's doctrine is thus enunciated by Dr. 
Whewell (" Physical Astronomy," Chap. I) : "A certain Force or 
Virtue resides in the sun by which all bodies within his influence are 
carried around him. He illustrates (' De Stella Martis/ Chap. 
XXXIV. p. 3) the nature of this Virtue in various ways, comparing 
it to Light and to the Magnetic Power, which it resembles in the 
circumstances of operating at a distance, and also in exercising a 
feebler influence as the distance becomes greater." In the Table of 
Contents of the work on the planet Mars, the purport of the chapter 
to which allusion has been made is stated as follows : "A Physical 
speculation, in which it is demonstrated that the vehicle of that 
virtue which urges the planets, circulates through the spaces of the 
universe after the manner of a river or whirlpool (vortex), moving 
quicker than the planets." It will doubtless be found by anyone 
who reads Kepler's phrases concerning the moving force the 
magnetic nature the immaterial virtue of the sun, that they convey 
no distinct conception, except so far as they are interpreted by the 
expressions here quoted : " A vortex of fluid constantly whirling 
around the sun, kept in this whirling motion by the rotation of the 
sun himself and carrying the planets around the sun by its revolution, 


as a whirlpool carries straws, could be readily understood; and 
though it appears to have been held by Kepler that this current 
and vortex was immaterial, he ascribes to it the power of overcoming 
the inertia of bodies, and of putting them and keeping them in 
motion, the only material properties with which he had anything 
to do. Kepler's physical reasonings, therefore* amount, in fact, 
to the doctrine of vortices around the central bodies and are 
occasionally so stated by himself; though by asserting these 
vortices to be ' an immaterial species/ and by the fickleness and 
variety of his phraseology on the subject, he leaves his theory in 
some confusion ; a proceeding, indeed, which both his want of sound 
mechanical conceptions and his busy and inventive fancy might 
have led us to expect. Nor, we may venture to say, was it easy 
for any one at Kepler's time to devise a more plausible theory than 
the theory of vortices might have been made. It was only with 
the formation and progress of the science of mechanics that this 
theory became untenable." 

RTCFKKKNCKS. " Kepler, sa vie et sos onvrages," in the " Journal 
dcs Savants " for June, July and August 18^7; Kepler's manuscripts, 
" Phil. Trans.," Vol. XI. p. 27; Win. Whcwcll, " Phil, ot the Ind. Sc.," 
London, 1840, Vol. J I. pp. 383-386; " Kpistola* ad J. Keplerum," 
published by M. G. llanseh in 1718; Houzeau et Lancaster, " Bibliogr. 
Ge"nerale," 1887, Vol. I. part i. pp. 612-614, detailing the contents ot 
Kepler's " Opera Omma," also Vol. 1. part ii. pp. 1315-1316, 1330-1331, 
1383, and Vol. II. pp. 175-176, 456-462 and 1581; Robert Small, 
" An Account of the Astronomical Discoveries oi Kepler," London, 
1804; Hnmbohlt, "Cosmos," 1860, Vol. II. p. 710, notes, for Laplace, 
Chasles and Hrewster on the writings and theories of Kepler; " Jour, des 
Savants " for June, July and August 1847; " Geschichte dcr Mat hem.," 
Vol. III. p. 318, and Vol. IV. pp. 216, 311; Dr. Geo. Miller, " Hist. 
Phil. 111.," London, 1840, Vol. III. notes at pp. 1^4 135 ; Fourth Dissert, 
of " Encycl. Brit."; Whevvell, "Hist, of the "hid.' Sc.," 1859, Vol. I. 
pp. 291-311, 320, 386, 387, 415, 462, 532-534, and Vol. II. pp.* 55, 56. 

It will be well to look at the last-named work of Dr. Whevvell 
for references to Jeremiah Horrox Horrockes (1619-1641), the 
celebrated young English scientist, who wrote in defence of the 
Copernican opinion in his " Keplerian Astronomy defended and 
promoted " (" Hist, of the Ind. Sc./' Vol. I. Book V. chap. iii. 
p. 276, and Chap. V. p. 303), as well as for references to Giovanni 
Alfonso Borelli (1608-1679). Borelli, who has by many been errone- 
ously called a pupil of Galileo, was a distinguished Italian physicist 
and astronomer, born at Naples in 1608, who founded what has been 
called the iatromathematical school, which, under the protection 
of Leopold of Tuscany, became known as the Accadcmia del Cimento. 
Whewell speaks of him in Vol. I. at Book VI. chap. ii. p. 323, at 
Book VII. chap i. pp. 387, 393, 394, and at Chap. II. pp. 303, 395, 
405, 406. Horrox is mentioned, more particularly, by Houzeau et 


Lancaster (" Bibliog. Generate, " Vol. II. p. 167), also at pp. 12 and 
220, Vol. II of Hutton's abridgments of the Phil. Trans. ; while 
full accounts of the many important works of Borelli are to be found 
in " Biogr. Generale," Vol. VI. pp. 700-701; Ninth " Britannica," 
Vol. IV. p. 53; Larousse, "Diet. Univ.," Vol. II. p. 1003; 
" Chambers' Encycl.," 1888, Vol. II. p. 328; " La Grande Encycl.," 
Vol. VII. p. 405; Niceron, " Mi' moires," Vol. VIII. p. 257; 
Vigneul-Marville, " Melanges," Vol. II. p. 122 ; Sachs, " Onomasticon 
Literarium," V. 40; Hagcn, "Memoriae Philosophorum," Frank- 
fort, 1710. 

A.D. 1613. Ridley (Marke), "Doctor in physicke and philoso- 
pliic, latly physition to the Emperour of Russia and one of ye eight 
principals or elects of the College of Physitions in London," is the 
author of a small quarto entitled " A Short Treatise of Magnetical 
Bodies and Motions," published in London, 1613. Of this treatise, 
Libri says that the author, in his preface, deals tolerantly with the 
many and varied theories concerning magnetic bodies, instancing 
many of the most notable from those of Pliny and Nicander to 
those of Robert Norman. He is particularly emphatic concerning 
the production of perpetual motion by means of the loadstone, 
finding it " by the experience of many ingenious practices . . . 
impossible to be done." 

From the notice given him in " Diet, of Nat. Biog.," 1896, 
Vol. XLVIII. pp. 285-286, we learn that in the above-named work, 
he claims acquaintance with William Gilbert, whom he commends 
as the greatest discoverer in magnetical science, and that after 
giving twenty-four chapters on the properties and description of 
the magnet, lie discusses the vaiiation of the compass and method-' 
of estimating it in eight chapters, the inclmatory needle in V 
others, concluding with a chapter on finding the k- v xveli as 
"' of the matter of the magnetical globe of the earth by tfieli 

In 1617, he published " Animadversions on a late work entitllVl 
Magnetical Advertisement ; or, Observations on the Nature and 
Properties of the Loadstone." 

REFERENCES. A. Watt, " Bibliothcca Britannira," Vol. II. p. 804, 
at P- 75g Vol. I. of which (article, " Wm. Barlowe ") is " A bricfe discovery 
of the idle animadversions of Marke Ridley, M.D.," upon a treatise 
entitled " Magneticall Advertisements," London, 1618. Consult also 
" The Lancet " of August 7, 1897, p. 349; Munk's " College of Phys.," 
Vol. I. p. 1 06; Ridlon's " Ancient Ryedales," p. 425. 

A.D. 1616. Schouten (Guillaume Cornelissen Willem Corne- 
Hsz), Dutch navigator, indicates points lying in the midst of the 
Pacific and south-east of the Marquesas Islands in which the 



variation is null. Humboldt alludes to this (" Cosmos/' 1859, Vol. I. 
p. 182, and Vol. V. p. 59) and says, " Even now there lies in this 
region a singular, closed system of isogonic lines, in which every 
group of tha internal concentric curves indicates a smaller amount 
of variation." 

For Schouten, consult " Relation," published by Aris Classen, 
Amst., 1617; Larousse, " Diet. Univ.," Vol. XIV. p. 375. 

Under this same date, A.D. 1616, Chas. Pickering tells us that 
Wm. Baffin (Churchill Coll. and Anders. II. 268) continued North 
to " severity-eight degrees," as far as a Sound called by him 
" Thomas Smith's," where the compass varied " fifty-six degrees 
to the westward," making the true North bear N.E. by E. The 
northern expanse of water received the name of Baffin's Bay " 
(" Chron. Hist, of Plants/' Boston, 1879, p. 933). 

A.D. 1617. Strada (Famianus), an Italian author and Jesuit 
priest, publishes his curious " Prolusiones Academicae," wherein 
he describes (lib. ii. prol. 6) a contrivance consisting of two 
magnetic needles attached to two dials each bearing a circle of 
letters so arranged that when one needle is made to point to any 
letter on one dial, the other needle points to the same letter upon 
the other dial. 

The description is best given in his own words taken from the 
original Latin (Stradae, " Prol. Acad./' Oxoniae, 1662, " Magnes 
cur ferrum aut aurum trahat," pp. 326-335) : "... If you wish 
your distant friend, to whom no letter can come, to learn something, 
take a disc or dial, and write round the edge of it the letters of the 
alphabet in the order in which children learn them, and, in the centre, 
place horizontally a rod, which h^^*^Vd a magnet, so that it 
mav move and indicatp -^ver letter you wish. Then a similar 
^ r jbbession of your friend, if you desire privately to 
. to tne friend whom some share of the earth holds far from you, 
iu.y your hand on the globe, and turn the movable iron as you see 
disposed along the margin of all the letters which are required for 
the words. Hither and thither turn the style and touch the letters, 
now this- one, and now that. . . . Wonderful to relate, the far- 
distant friend s^es the voluble iron tremble without the touch of 
any person, and run now hither, now thither ; conscious he bends 
over it and marks the teaching of the rod. When he sees the rod 
stand still, he, in his turn, if he thinks there is anything to be 
answered, in like manner, by touching the various letters, writes 
it back to his friend. ..." 

REFERENCES." The Student; or, Oxford and Cambridge Misc./' 
1750, Vol. I. p. 354; Abbe" Moigno's *' Trait6 de Tel. Elec./' p. 58; 


Addison (Joseph), " Spectator" for December 6, 1711, No. 241 (p. 273, 
Vol. II. London cd., 1854); the "Guardian" for 1713, No. 119, and 
" Nature," Vol. XVI. pp. 268, 269. Also " Academy and Literature " 
of January 7, 1905. Zachary Grey, in 1744 edition of Butler's " Hudi- 
bras," quotes from the " Guardian." 

A.D. 1620. Bacon (Sir Francis), by many considered the 
greatest of English philosophers and philosophical writers (1561- 
1626), who was knighted in 1603, became Earl of Vernlam in 1618 
and Viscount St. Albans in 1620, produces the masterpiece of his 
genius, the " Novum Organum," after having twelve times copied 
and revised it. The last-named work, observes Macaulay, " takes in 
at once all the domains of science all the past, the present and the 
future, all the errors of two thousand years, all the encouraging 
signs of the passing times, all the bright hopes of the coming age." 
Prof. Playfair says of it that " the power and compass of the mind 
which could form such a plan beforehand, and trace not merely 
the outline but many of the most minute ramifications of sciences 
which did not yet exist, must be an object of admiration to all 
succeeding ages." 

It was Sir John Herschel w r ho remarked that " previous to the 
publication of the ' Novum Organum ' natural philosophy, in any 
legitimate and extensive sense of the word, could hardly be said to 
exist." In the address presented in 1623 by the University of 
Oxford to Sir Francis Bacon, he is represented " as a mighty Hercules 
who had by his own hand greatly advanced those pillars in the 
learned world which by the rest of the world were supposed 

Treating of the electric fluid, Bacon has given (" Physiological 
Remains," London, 1648) a detailed list of attractive and non- 
attractive bodies and the results of his very extensive experiments 
and observations in physical science generally, as well as of the 
investigation* contained in Di. Gilbert's work. To the latter, 
however, many allusions had already uca n ma de in Bacon's "The 
Advancement of Learning," published during 1605, two yenr 1W" 
he was made Solicitor-General. 

The most satisfactory analyzation of Bacon's re. 
found in the attractive edition of his complete works 
Spedding, Ellis and Heath, fifteen volumes, Boston, 186^ 
will be seen the following references to the magnet and 
virtue : 

Vol. I. p. 435 (note). In Gilbert's philosophy, the earth's mag- 
netic action is not distinguished from gravity (De Mundo, 
II. c. 3). That the magnetic action of the earth or of a magnet 


is confined to a definite orb, appears from a variety of passages 
(see " De Magnete," II. c. 7, and the definitions prefixed to this 
work). Gilbert distinguished between the " Orb of Virtue," 
which includes the whole space through which any magnetic 
action extends, and the " Orb of Coition," which is Mum illud 
spatium per quod minimum magndicum -per magnetem movelur. 
He asserts that the orb of the magnetic virtue extends to the 
moon and ascribes the moon's inequalities to the effects it pro- 
duces (" De Mundo," II. c. 19). 

Vol. VIII. Aphorisms. " If, before the discovery of the magnet, 
any one had said that a certain instrument had been invented 
by means of which the quarters and points of the heavens could 
be taken and distinguished with exactness ... it would have 
been judged altogether incredible . . ." (pp. 141-142). " The 
' Clandestine Instances '-which I also call ' Instances of the 
Twilight ' [the attraction or coming together of bodies] 
and which are pretty nearly the opposite of ' Striking In- 
stances. . . .' The most remarkable ' Striking Instance 
is the magnet ... a ' Clandestine Instance ' is a magnet 
armed with iron; or, rather, the iron is an armed magnet ..." 
(pp. 224-226). " The polarity of the iron needle when touched 
with the magnet " (p. 261). " The magnetic or attractive virtue 
admits of media without distinction, nor is the virtue impeded 
in any kind of a medium " (p. 269). "There is no medium 
known by the interposition of which the operation of the 
magnet, in drawing iron, is entirely prevented " (pp. 285-286). 
" A piece of a magnet docs not draw so much iron as the whole 
magnet " (p. 301). " As for the help derived from the virtue 
of a cognate body, it is well seen in an armed magnet, which 
excites in iron the virtue of detaining iron by similarity of 
substance ; the torpor of the iron being cast off by the virtue of 
the magnet " (p. 311). " ' 01 ^ e arc 1()ur virtues- ^ onor q ti ons 
in the magnet . . kic mst * s ^ ie attraction of magnet to 
* or of ir^'. to nia g nct > or f magnetised iron to iron ; the 
polarity, and at the same time its declination ; the 
power of penetrating through gold, glass, stone, 
ang; the fourth, its power of communicating its virtue 
stone to iron, and from iron to iron, without communi- 
-xon of substance " (p. 313). " But the flight of iron from 
one pole of the magnet is well observed by Gilbert to be not 
a flight strictly speaking, but a conformity and meeting in a 
more convenient situation " (p. 315). " The magnet endues 
iron with a new disposition of its parts and a conformable 
motion, but loses nothing of its own virtue " (p. 318). 


Vol. IX. In the fifth book of " De Augmentis Scientiarum," 
these questions are asked : (i) A magnet attracts a solid piece 
of iron ; will a piece of a magnet dipped in a dissolution of iron 
attract the iron itself and so get a coating of iron ? (2) Again, 
the magnetic needle turns to the pole; does it, in so doing, 
follow the same course as the heavenly bodies ? (3) And, 
if one should turn the needle the wrong way, that is, point it 
to the South and hold it there for a while, and then let it go ; 
would it, in returning to the North, go round by the West 
rather than by the East ? (pp. 75-76). 

Vol. X. This contains, at pp. 269-272, the " Inquiry respecting 
the Magnet/' of which the original paper is to be found in Vol. 
IV. pp. 121-125. In Dr. Rawley's list of works composed by 
Bacon, during the last five years of his life, this " Inquisitio de 
Magncte," first published in 1658, stands last but two. At 
P- 335 of this same Vol. X will be found an extract from " De 
fluxu et reflexu maris " (" The ebb and flow of the sea ") re- 
lative to the inquiry as to whether the earth itself is a magnet, 
as was asserted by Gilbert. 

Besides the " Clandestine Instances " or " Instances of the 
Twilight " alluded to above, mention could have, been made more 
particularly of Bacon's observations (ins. 3 of the " Nov. Organ/') 
under the direct headings of " Instantise Citantcs . . . Supple- 
ment i . . . Radii . . . Magicie," as well as of " Mot us Magnet i- 
cus . . . Excitationis . . . Fugae," etc., which arc fully explained 
at ss. 190-200 of Sir John Herschel's " Discourse on the study of 
Natural Philosophy/' 

They have been analyzed as follows : 

Instantice Citantcs, to which may be reduced the " discovery of a 
moving magnetic fluid, or an action circular and. perpendicular 
to the electrical current, yet connected with it." 

Instanticv Supplement}, such as the magnet which attracts iron 
through many substances that may be interposed. Perhaps, 
says he, " some medium may be found to deaden this virtue 
more than any other medium ; such an instance of substitution, 
would be in the way of degree, or approximation"', that is, 
it would approach toward destroying the magnetic virtue. 
Iron possesses, perhaps, this quality in a more marked manner 
than any other substance. 

Instanticz Radii, leading to the suggestion that there may exist 
some kind of " magnetic virtue which operates by consent, 


between the globe of the earth and heavenly bodies ; or between 
the globe of the moon and the waters of the sea; or between 
the starry heavens and the planets, by which they may be 
drawn to their apogees," or greatest distances from the earth. 

Instantia Magicce, such as the loadstone animating a number of 
needles without loss of its own magnetism. 

Motus Magneticus, such as the attraction of the heavenly bodies, 
from an idea, perhaps, that it might be due to a species of 

Motus E xcitationis , such as the new property which is given to iron 
by the magnet without any loss of power by the latter. 

Motus Fugcc, such as " the repulsion of electrified pith balls ; also 
of the similar poles of two magnets. In the latter case, all 
the force of a strong man has proved insufficient to make the 
two north poles touch each other/' 

The last-named work of Sir John Herschel is alluded to, under 
the heading of " Prerogative Instances " (" Prerogative Instan- 
tiarum ") by Thomas Fowler, who calls attention to the fact that 
among the contemporaries of Francis Bacon by whom the Copernican 
theory was rejected are : Tycho Brahe (who, however having died 
in 1601 did not live to become acquainted with the discoveries 
of Galileo) ; Vieta, the greatest mathematician of the sixteenth century 
(who died as early as 1603) ; Christopher Clavius (who was employed 
by Gregory XIII to reform the Calendar and was called the Euclid 
of his age) ; and possibly, from his silence, the famous mechanician 
Stevinus (Delambre, " Histoire de r Astronomic Moderne "). 

REFERENCES. The works of Sir Francis Bacon, Lord Chancellor 
of England, by Basil Montagu, 16 vols., London, 1825-1834, and the 
review thereof made by Thomas Babington Macaulay (" Essays," 
1855, Vol. II. pp. 142-254 (" Edinburgh Review," July 1837); Dr. W. 
Windclbrand, " History' of Philosophy, New York, 1893, translated by 
Jas. H. Tufts, pp. 380-388; Dr. Ericdrich Uebcrweg, "History of 
Philosophy," translated by Geo. S. Morris, New York, 1885, Vol. II. 
PP- 33-38; Leopold Von Ranke, "History of England," Vol. I. pp. 
455-459, Vol. III. p. 383; -William Whewell, "The Philosophy of the 
Inductive Sciences," London 1840, Vol. II. pp. 388-413; "Critical 
Dictionary of English Literature," S. Austin Allibone, Philad. 1888, 

"The Grammar of Science," by Karl Pearson, London, 1900, 
pp. 506-508; " Encycl. Britann.," Edinburgh, 1842, seventh edition, 
Vol. I. as per Index pages 16-17 and at " Dissertation First," pp. 32-40 
" Essai Theorique . . . des connaissances humaines," par G. Tiberghien, 
Bruxelles, 1844, Vol. II. pp. 409-419; Gco Miller, "History Philoso- 
phically Illustrated," London, 1849, Vol. II. p. 430; " Francis Bacon," 
by B. G. Lovcjoy, London, 1888; " His Life and Character," pp. 1-188, 


and "His Essays and Extracts," pp. 19-277; "Francis Bacon," by 
Kuno Fisher, London, 1857; " Encycl. Brit." ninth edition, Vol. III. 
pp. 200-218; Bacon's "Novum Organum," by Thomas Fowler, New 
York, 1881, and Oxford, 1889; " Histoire des Sciences," par F. L. M. 
Maupied, Paris, 1847, Vol. II. pp. 252-281, for " Enumeration Method- 
ique E16ments Analyse des ouvrages de Francis Bacon " ; " library 
of Useful Knowledge," for account of Lord Bacon's " Novum Organum " ; 
" Epitome of Electricity and Galvanism," Philad., 1809, pp. xvi, 105; 
Whewell, " History of the Inductive Sciences," Vol. I. pp. 339, 385, 494, 
530; Van Swinden, " Recueil de Me"moires . . ." La Haye, 1784, 
Vol. II. pp. 355, 364, 369-370; and, for an exhaustive biographical 
account of Francis Bacon, consult the " English Cyclopaedia," Vol. I. 
pp. 470-476. It is stated by C. R. Weld in his " History," Vol. I. p. 64, 
that the establishment of the Royal Society was much accelerated by 
the writings of Lord Bacon (Buchmeri, " Acad. Nat. curi. Hist."). 

A.D. 1620-1655. Bergerac (Savinien Cyrano de), a very witty 
French writer, is the author of a fragment on physics, as well as of 
a curious philosophical romance, " Histoire comique des etats et 
empires de la lune," a translation from which latter is here given, 
as in a measure suggesting the phonograph : " On opening the box, 
I found a number of metallic springs and a quantity of machinery 
resembling the interior of our clocks. It was, in truth, to me a book, 
indeed, a miraculous book, for it had neither leaves nor characters, 
and to read it, one had no need of eyes, the ears alone answering 
the purpose. It was only necessary to start the little machine, 
whence would soon come all the distinct and different sounds 
common to the human voice." 

Another translation reads as follows : " On opening the box 
I found inside a concern of metal, something like one of our watches, 
full of curious little springs and minute machinery. It was really 
a book, but a wonderful book that has no leaves or letters ; a book, 
for the understanding of which the eyes are of no use only the ears 
are necessary. When any one wishes to read, he winds up the 
machine with its great number of nerves of all kinds, and turns the 
pointer to the chapter he wishes to hear, when there come out, as 
if from the mouth of a man or of an instrument of music, the distinct 
and various sounds which serve the Great Lunarians as the expres- 
sion of language." 

As has been said by one of his biographers, " amid the extrava- 
gance of some of his works, Bergerac nevertheless exhibited a 
pretty good acquaintance with the philosophy of Descartes." 

REFERENCES. Article " Aeronautics" in the " Encycl. Brit.," 1853, 
Vol. II. p. 168; Larousse, " Diet.," Vol. V. p. 730. 

A.D. 1621. Helmont (Jean Baptiste van), famous Belgian 
scientist, publishes in Paris his " De Magnetica," etc. (on the 
magnetic cure of wounds). His theories on magnetism greatly 


resemble those of Paracelsus, but in his treatment of them he shows 
himself much superior to the Swiss alchemist, whom Dr. Hcefer 
says he took as his model. " Magnetism/' Vein Helmont observes, 
" is an unknown property of a heavenly nature, very much re- 
sembling the stars, and not at all impeded by any boundaries of 
space or time. . . . Every created being possesses his own celestial 
power and is closely allied with heaven . . . the spirit is everywhere 
diffused; and the spirit is the medium of magnetism ... it is not 
the spirits of heaven and of hell which are masters over physical 
nature, but the soul and spirit of man which are concealed in him 
as the fire is concealed in the flint." 

The above-named work of Van Helmont was " translated, 
illustrated and ampliatecl," in 1650 by Dr. Walter Charlcton, 
physician in ordinary to King Charles I, under the name of " A 
Ternary of Paradoxes." From its interesting contents, we make the 
following extracts : 

Page 10. " A loadstone placed upon a small trencher of wood, 
floating on water, docs instantly in one determinate point 
aiistralizc, and in the other scftcntrionatc . . . all which 
various and admirable effects of the loadstone, thou maiest, 
if thy judgement relish them, iindr made good by multiplycd 
observations, by William Gilbert, not many yccrs past, a 
physician in London, in his book, ' DC Mag note ' : of which 
subject no man ever writ more judiciously or experimentally : 
and by whose industry the variation of the compasse may be 
restored ..." 

Page 12. " There is a book imprinted at Franekera, in the year 
1611, by VJdericns Dominicus Balck, of the Lamp of Life. In 
which you shall fmde, out of Paracelsus, the true magneticall 
cure of most diseases, as of the Dropsie, Gout, Jaundice, etc." 

Page 15. " Doth not the needle of the Mariner's Compasse, through 
a firme glasse, closely sealed up with melted so dor (in which 
there can be no pore or crany discovered) steer it self to the 
Article pole ? . . . wherefore the same mimerieall accident 
streaming in one continued radius from the loadstone into the 
aer, passes through the glasse, and perhaps goes as farre as to 
touch the pole it self . . ." 

Page 38. " Wherefore the loadstone owes its polarity to a natural 
inherent faculty, flowing from its owne seminall entity, and 
not to any forreigne alliciency, or attractive influx transmitted 
from the north star. But that otherwise the loadstone may, 
by its own instinct, be elevated towards the Zenith, we have 
upon ocular demonstration found it true, by a certain instrument 


invented by Guilielme Guilbert (the glory of which excellent 
invention Ludovicus Fonseca hath lately endeavoured to 
ravish) . . . which by the spontaneous elevation of the load- 
stone in a brasse ring suspended by a thread or small wier, 
shews not only the latitude but also the altitude of the pole, 
in all places of the earth." 

Page 39. " . . . the loadstone is endued with a domcstick pilot, 
a directive faculty, which guides it to some determinate place, 
but is not at all attracted by the pole." 

Page 40. " The loadstone onely by the affliction of GaYlick, amits 
its vcrticity, and neglects the pole, conserving to it self, in the 
meane time, its peculiar forme, materiall constitution, and all 
other dependent proprieties. The reason, because Garlick is 
the loadstone's proper Opium, and by it that spirit uall sensation 
in the magnet is consopited and layd asleep. . . . Verily, that 
alliciency of the pole must be extreame wcake and of incon- 
siderable energy, which passing through so many and so im- 
mense orbcs of heaven, and striking through great and Anne 
buildings, and thick walls, cannot yet be of power sufficient to 
pierce the thin juice of Garlick or the fume of Mercury . . ." 

Page 42. " There is therefore inherent in the magnet an in fin- 
cntiall rirtnc, which, being not obliged to the propinquinty or 
contiguous admotion of its object, is after the nobler names of 
coclestiall influences, freely and without interruption or languor 
transmitted so farrc as to the pole it self : since there is a 
spontaneous eradiation, or emission of atomicall radii from the 
body of the magnet to the pole." 

Page 74. " That the magnetisme of the loadstone and other inani- 
mate 1 creatures is performed by a ccrtaine naturall sensation, the 
immediate anthrix of all sympathy, is a truth unquestionable. 11 

Page 75. " For by one phansy it is directed to iron, and by another 
to the pole . . . the phansy of amber delights to allect strawes, 
chaffe, and other festucous bodies; by an attraction, we con- 
fesse, observe obscure and wcake enough, yet sufficiently 
manifest and strong to attest an Electricity or attractive 
signature ..." 

REFERENCES. " Diet, of Nat. Biog.," Vol. X. pp. nfi-rig, contain- 
ing a full list of Charleton's works; Thomson, " Hist, of the Roy. Soc.," 
1812, p. 3; Munk, "Coll. of Phys.," 1878, Vol. J. p. 390; " Journal 
dcs Savants " for February and March 1850, June 1851 ; Mmc. Blaval- 
sky, " Isis Unveiled," Vol. I. p. 170 ; Kloy, " Diet. Hist, dc la Mcdeeme," 
Vol. II. pp. 478-482 ; " Diet. Hist, de la Medccine," par. J. E. Dezeirners, 
Paris, 1839, Vol. III. pp. 97-10 j; " Ency. Brit.," ninth edition, Vol. XI. 
p. 638; " History and Heroes of the Art of Medicine," by J. KiUherfurd 
Rubscll, London, 180 1, pp. 197-204; Laroussc, " Diet. Univ.," Vol. IX. 


p. 158; Van Swinden, " Recueil," La Haye, 1784, Vol. II. pp. 351-352, 
361-363; Joseph Ennemoser, " The History of Magic/' London, 1854, 
Vol. II. pp. 242-253. 

A.D. 1623. Hervart Heroart Herwart Horwarth (Joannes 
Fridericus), son of Johann Georg Hervart ab Hohenburg, the 
well-known scientist (1554-1622), who during forty-five years 
occupied the post of Bavarian Chancellor under three reigning 
"princes completes his father's work entitled " Admiranda ethniccz 
theologies ..." which, Larousse says (" Dictionnaire Universel," 
Vol. IX. p. 250), was published at Munich, 1624, an d in which 
he demonstrates that the earlier Egyptian divinities were natural 
phenomena personified and adored under symbolic names. 
Michaud, who reiterates this (" Biographic Universelle," Vol. XIX. 
p. 364), speaks of the edition which appeared at Munich in 1626, 
and he also states that, at the end of the latter, will be found " Ex- 
acta tempomm . . . chronologic? vulgaris errores," which is the 
continuation of the " Chronologia Nova," left unfinished by the 
Bavarian Chancellor. This is, in fact, so mentioned in the only 
copy possessed by the British Museum, which was published by 
J. F. Hervart ab Hohenburg at Ingolstadii, 1623, and of which the 
title reads : " Admiranda Ethnicce Theologies Hysteria propalata. 
Ubi lapidem magnetem antiquissimis passim nationibus pro Deo-deo- 
cultum : ct artem qua navigationes magneticcc per universmn orbem 
instituerentur. ..." 

Libri's " Catalogue/' 1861, Part I. p. 405, No. 3703, has the 
following entry : " Admiranda Ethnicce . . . ubi Lapidem Magnetem 
antiquissimis Nationibus pro Deo cultum commonstratur ..." 
Ingolstadii, 1623. The work itself endeavours to prove that the 
loadstone's properties were well known to the ancients. 

The " General Biographical Dictionary " of Alexander Chalmers, 
London, 1814, Vol. XVII. p. 426, makes following entry : " Herwart 
(or Hervart) John George, Chancellor of Bavaria at the beginning 
of the seventeenth century, published some works wherein his 
learning was more displayed than his judgment, in supporting the 
most extravagant systems. Two of his works are : ' Chronologia 
nova et vera,' in two parts, 1622 and 1626, and ' Admiranda Ethnica 
Theologies Hysteria propalata, de antiquissima veterum nationum 
super stitione, qua lapis Hagnes pro Deo habitus colebatur,' Monach, 
1626, quarto. It was here asserted that the ancient Egyptians 
worshipped the magnet," etc. (see Deveria, under B.C. 321). 

REFERENCES. Allusions to Hervart, made at p. 546, Vol. XXIV. 
of Dr. Hcefer's 1861 " Nouvellc Biographic Generate," or at p. 546, 
Vol. XXVIII of the 1858 edition, and also at p. 163, Vol. II of the 
" Bibliographic Ge"ne"rale de 1' Astronomic," by Houzeau et Lancaster, 


Bruxelles, 1882. Likewise Chr. G. Jocher, " Compendioses Gelehrten 
Lexicon," Leipzig, 1787, Vol. II. p. 1969, and " A New General Biogr. 
Diet.," London, 1850, Vol. VIII. p. 304. 

A.D. 1624. Gunter (Edmund), professor of astronomy at 
Gresham College, publishes his work " Of the Sector, Cross-Staff, 
and other Instruments/' at Chap. V of the second book of which 
he gives the result of the eight observations he made on the varia- 
tion of the variation " in various parts of the ground " at Lime- 
house on the I3th of June, 1622. His observations of the declination, 
as given by Prof. Gellibrand, are detailed at Chap. I of Walker's 
" Ter. and Cos. Mag./' Cambridge, 1866. 

REFERENCES. De La Rive, "Electricity," etc., Vol. I. p. 165; 
Poggcndorff, " Geschichte dcr Physik," Leipzig, 1879, p. 275. 

A.D. 1625. Carpenter (Nathaniel), Dean of Ireland, well-known 
mathematician, publishes at Oxford, " Geography delineated forth 
in two bookes, containing the sphsericall and topicall parts thereof," 
wherein he thus alludes to Dr. Gilbert's " De Magnete " : " Mag- 
neticall proprieties, I find in ancient writers, as little knowne as 
their causes ; and if any matter herein were broached, it was merely 
conjectural, and depending on no certain demonstration; neither 
had we any certain or satisfactory knowledge of the thing vntill 
such time as it pleased God to raise vp one of our countrymen, 
D. Gilbert, who, to his euerlasting praise, hath trodden out a new 
path to Philosophic, and on the Loadstone, erected a large Trophic 
to commend him to posterity. This famous Doctor being as 
pregnant in witty apprehension as diligent in curious search of 
naturall causes, after many experiments and long enquiry, found 
the causes of most magneticall motions and proprieties hid in the 
magneticall temper and constitution of the Earth, and that the 
earth it selfe was a mecre magneticall body challenging all those 
proprieties, and more than haue expressed themselves in the Load- 
stone; which opinion of his was no sooner broached than it was 
embraced, and wcl-commed by many prime wits as well English 
as Forraine. Insomuch that it hath of late taken large root and 
gotten much ground of our vulgar Philosophic. " 

REFERENCES. " Nature," September 26, 1901 ; " Diet, of Nat. 
B/ogr.," Vol. IX. pp. 161-162 ; Larousse, " Diet.," Vol. IV. p. 438; Prince's 
" Worthies " (1810), pp. 173-175, 603. 

A.D. 1625. Naude (Gabriel), a celebrated French savant and 
one of the most learned of his day, also physician to King Louis 
XIII, and an intimate friend of Gassendi, is the author of " Apologia 
pour tons," etc. (" Apology for great men falsely accused of magic "), 
of which other editions appeared in 1652, 1669 and 1712. The 


magico-theosophical philosophy, as Madame Blavatsky expresses 
it, is fully indicated in his work, and he proved to be the warmest 
defender of the doctrines of occult magnetism, of which he was 
one of the first propounders. 

REFERENCES. " Biog. Gencrale," Vol. XXXVII. pp. 514-518; 
P. Halle, " Oab. Nande Elognim " ; N. Sanson, " Hist. Chr. d'Abbeville," 
1653 ; Saintc Bcuve, " Portraits Littcraircs," 1855 ; Alf. Franklin, " Hist, 
dc la, Bibhoth. Mazarine," 1860. 

A.D. 1627. Hakewill (George), Archdeacon of Surrey, publishes 
at Oxford, England, the first edition of " An Apologie or Declaration 
of the Power and Providence of God," the tenth chapter, fourth sec- 
tion of the third book of which alludes to the use of the " mariner's 
compass or sea-card, as also of another excellent invention sayd 
to be lately found out upon the loadstone." As the reviewer 
justly observes : " While perusing his description one can hardly 
imagine that the writer had not in his mind's eye one of our modern 
telegraphic instruments . . . and it will be seen that the date at 
which his work is written was nearly two hundred years prior to 
the first attempt made to communicate at a distance by means of 
magnetic needles." 

Hakewill alludes ("Apologie," 1635, lib. ii. p. 97) to Hipparchus 
Abraxis " who reports that, in his time, the starre commonly 
called the Polar Starre, which is in the tayle of the lesser Beare, 
was twelve degrees and two-fifths distant from the Pole of the 
/Equator. This starre, from age to age, hath insensibly still crept 
nearer to the pole so that at this present it is not past three degrees 
distant from the pole of the /Equator. When this starre then 
shall come to touch the Pole, there being no farther place left for 
it to go forward (which may well enough come to pass with five 
or six hundred yeares) it is likely that then there shall be a great 
change of things, and that this time is the period which God hath 
prefixed to Nature " (see Morell's " Elein. . . . Phil, and Sc.," 
London, 1827, pp. 116-119 et seq.). 

Mention of the star in the tail of Ursa Major is made by Gilbert, 
(* DC Magnete "J, 1 in connection (i) with Maudlins Ficinus, who, says 
he, seeks in that constellation the cause of the magnetic direction, 
as he believes that in the loadstone the potency of Ursa prevails 
and hence is transferred to the iron ; (2) with Cardan, who assigns 
the cause of variation to its rising, for he thinks variation is always 
to be relied upon at the rising of the star ; (3) with Lucas Gauricus, 
who holds that the loadstone beneath the tail of Ursa Major is ruled 
by the planets Saturn and Mars ; (4) with Gaudentius Merula, who 

1 At the first chapter of Books L, III. and IV. 


believes that the loadstone draws iron and makes it point North 
because it is of a higher order than is the iron in the Bear. 

REFERENCES. Larousse, " Diet. Univ.," Vol. IX. p. 26; " Diet, of 
Nat. Biog.," Vol. XXIV. pp. 6-8; Walton and Cotton, "Complete 
Angler," New York and London, 1847, Part I, p. 118. 

A.D. 1628. Lcurechon (Jean), a student belonging to the Order 
of Jesuits (1591-1670), who became the confessor of Charles IV of 
Lorraine, publishes, under the name H. Van Etten, " La Recreation 
Mathematique," carefully revised editions of which were made by 
Claude Mydorge and Denis Henrioti in 1630, 1638 and 1661. In 
these, Leurechon alludes to the reported transmission of intelligence 
by the agency of a magnet or other like stone, saying : " The in- 
vention is beautiful, but I do not think there can be found in the 
world a magnet that has such virtue." 

REFERENCES. Georges Maupin, " Opinions touchant la matheina- 
tique," Paris, 1898, pp. 20-24; Larousse, " Diet.," Vol. X. p. 436; " Sc. 
Am. Snppl.," Nos. 56, p. 881, and 384, p. 6125. 

The curious title-page of the English version of Leurechon 's 
work, published by T. Cotes in 1633, merits reproduction : 
" Mathematical! Recreations, or a Collection of sundrie Problcmes, 
extracted out of the Ancient and Moderne Philosophers, as secrets 
in nature, and experiments in Arithmeticke, Geometric, Cosmog- 
raphie, Horologographie, Astronomic, Navigation, Musicke, Op- 
tickcs, Chimestrie, Watcrworkcs, Fireworks, etc., Fit for Schollcrs, 
Students, and Gentlemen . . . lately compiled in French by 
Henry Van Hctten. And now delivered in the English tongue." 

Claude Mydorge, as stated in the " Biog. Gen./' Vol. XXXVIL 
p. 87, was a French scientist (1585-1647), a very close friend of 
Descartes, and, according to Baillet, was next to Vieta, the fore- 
most mathematician of his day. The second edition of his " Examen 
du livre des Recreations Mathematiques (du Pere Leurechon)," 
contains notes of Denis Henrion following the observations of 
Pere Mersenne in " Universae ..." Paris, 1639 (see Bouillct, 
" Vie de Descartes," Vol. i. pp. 36-37, 149-150, and Vol. II. pp. 

43, 76, ?8> 325). 

Denis Henrion was also a French mathematician, who died 
about 1640. He was the author of many very meritorious papers, 
notably of a " Traite des Globes et de leurs usages," 1618, translated 
from the Latin of Robert Hues, 1593, 1594 (Larousse, " Diet. 
Univ.," Vol. IX. p. 192). 

A.D. 1629, Cabaeus Cabeo (Nicolaus), a learned Jesuit of 


Ferrara, describes (" Philosophia Magnetica ") 1 numerous experi- 
ments made by him to ascertain the possibility of two persons 
communicating intelligence by means of magnetized needles. 

Cabseus was the first to observe electrical repulsion, and he thus 
announces his discovery in the tenth chapter of the above-named 
work : " Magnetic attractions and repulsions are physical actions 
which take place through the instrumentality of a certain quality 
of the intermediate space, said quality extending from the in- 
fluencing to the influenced body. . . . Bodies are not moved by 
sympathy or antipathy, unless it be by means of certain forces which 
are uniformly diffused. When these forces reach a body that is suit- 
able they produce changes in it, but they do not sensibly affect the 
intermediate space nor the non-kindred bodies close by it. . . ." 

The " Philosophia Magnetica " is the second Latin book pub- 
lished on electricity, Gilbert's " De Magneto " being the first. 

REFERENCES. Becquercl, "Resume," Chap. Ill; Studio, " Bibl. 
Scrip. S. J.," Rome, 1676; Francisco de Lanis, " Magist. nat. et artis," 
1684 ; L. L. de Vallemont, " Description de I'aimanr/' 1692, pp. 167, 
170; Dechalcs C. F. Millict, " Cursus sen Mundus Mathem.," 1674, 1690. 

A.D. 1632. Sarpi (Pietro) Fra Paolo Sarpi Father Paul 
Paulus Venet us- Paolo Sarpi Vcneto (b. 1552, d. 1623), who was the 
author of the celebrated history of the Council of Trent (" the rarest 
piece of history the world ever saw ") is referred to by Gilbert in 
" De Magnete," Book I. chap. i. Therein, he says that Baptist a Porta, 
who has made the seventh book of his " Magia Naturalis " a very 
storehouse and repertory of magnetic wonders, knows little about 
the movements of the loadstone and never has seen much of them, 
and that a great deal of what he has learned about its obvious 
properties, either through Messer Paolo, the Venetian, or through 
his own studies, is not very accurately noted and observed. 

In the introduction to the 1658 edition of his " Natural Magick," 
Porta admits that he gained some knowledge of Sarpi, who, says he, 
is of all men he ever knew the most learned and skilful and the orna- 
ment and splendour not only of Venice or of Italy, but of the entire 
world. Bertelli refers (" Memor. sopra P. Peregrino," p. 24, note) to 
P. Garbio's " Annali di Serviti," Lucca, 1721, Vol. II. pp. 263, 272, 
274, and to Fra Fulgenzio Micanzio's " Life of Sarpi," Helmstat 
Verona, 1750, in which it is stated that not only Porta but likewise 

1 " Philosophia magnetica in qua magnctis natnra penitus cxplicatur. . . ," 
An important work on the loadstone, in which the author often confutes the 
published treatise of Dr. Gilbert of Colchester, and quotes the inedited 
writings of L. Garzoni, who, even before Gilbert, had made researches re- 
spec ting the magnet. A curious chapter in the " Philosophia " institutes a 
comparison between electrical and magnetical attraction (Libri, " Cata- 
logue/' 1871, Part. I. p. 161) 


a celebrated ultramontane studied magnetism under him. Gar bio 
asks : " Could this ultramontane be Gilbert of Colchester? " 

By Griselini (" Vita de Fra P. Sarpi " memoria anecdote- 
Lausanne, 1760), Paolo is said to have written a treatise on the 
magnet and to have therein recorded many observations, including 
the earliest mention that magnetic properties are destroyed by fire. 

Bertelli whose afore-named memoir we must confine ourselves 
to, as it is more satisfactory than are the accounts elsewhere given 
makes mention that he has had in his possession, by courtesy of 
Sig. Giuseppe Valentinelli, the Royal Librarian of the Marciana at 
Venice, copy of a manuscript (Cod. CXXIX, classe 2, MS. Ital.) 
containing a brief comparison of Sarpi's magnetic researches with 
those of Musschenbroek. This manuscript is again alluded to by 
Bertelli (Memor., p. 88) wherein it is said that lines 5-38 of the first 
column, p. 170, are headed " Observations of F.P.S. on the loadstone, 
collated with P. Musschenbroek's Researches/' and embrace five 
paragraphs translated as follows : 

1. The author had first tried the action of one magnet on another 

without entering into the question of calculation, but modern 
authors have, in view of the observations made, endeavoured 
to discover a method of computing magnetic forces in any 
proportion to the distances, and in the same better regulated 
systems they have discovered the cause to be uncertain (or 
varying) owing to the contemporaneous action of magnetic 

2. He was acquainted with the well-known action of the magnet 

on iron, but he understood as even at this day some .under- 
stand that it was caused by the atmosphere. New experi- 
ments have made us seriously doubt this. He did not pay 
attention to the proportion of the magnetic forces as compared 
with the distances of iron, to the discovery of which the efforts 
of present philosophers are directed but in vain. He saw, 
however, that the facility or difficulty of attraction depends 
upon the size of the iron (maximum and minimum). 

3. He was not ignorant of the direction of the magnet and of iron 

rubbed with the magnet towards certain quarters of the sky 
when he mentions the new discovery of the poles in the magnet, 
and the variation of the magnetized needle, from the Northern 
or the Southern quarters, but he did not know a greater number 
than two poles found in the magnet, the variation of the declina- 
tion, or, I should rather say, the uncertainty of the variation 
and the different inclinations of the needle at different places 
on the earth. 


4. Almost all the experiments referred to by Academies, with 

reference to the action of one piece of iron on another piece ot 
iron, magnetized and not magnetized, and with regard to the 
changes of forces which arise from the various inflections of 
iron, have been sufficiently sketched out by F. P. S. 

5. The magnetic effects acquired by an old piece of iron continually 

exposed to the air have also been alluded to. Now, however, 
natural philosophers have observed that this iron exposed for 
a length of time in the magnetic meridian points with greater 
readiness to the above-mentioned quarters. They have, 
moreover, ascertained that iron when heated and afterwards 
cooled in water is more sensitive to magnetization : which is 
directly opposed to the opinion of F. P. S. 

Bertelli further remarks that, from information given in the 
manuscript, it is seen that Sarpi was at that time acquainted with 
the greater number of the magnetic phenomena referred to by 
Porta, and developed by Gilbert, viz. : 

1. The reciprocal action of magnets; 

2. The action of magnets on iron ; 

3. The manifestation of magnetic activity about the poles (sphere of 

action or field of force) ; 

4. The Maximum and the Minimum of the attractive force of magnets 

on iron, according to the size of the latter; 

5. The inversion of polarity which may aiise in the magnetization 

of needles (but not the corresponding poles the magnetic 
variation or declination Pctrus Peregrinus, A.D. 1269 yet 
not the variation of the variation Henry Ciellibrand, A.D. 1635 
nor the dip or inclination Robert Norman, A.D. 1576). 

6. The magnetic properties acquired by iron constantly exposed to 

the air. 

After detailing the observations of Giulio Cesare Moderati, 
Filippo Costa (Costaeus) of Mantua, Ulysses Aldrovandi, Francesco 
Acoromboni, Luigi Matteini, Father Garzoni and Father Caboeus 
concerning the magnetized ironwork of the belfry of the church 
of St. Augustine at Arimini (the parochial church of St. John the 
Baptist, which at that time, 1586, belonged to the monks of St. 
Augustine) and relative to the iron rail in the belfry of the tower of 
St. Laurence at Rome, Bertelli says : " From all that precedes, we 
gather at all events, that the fact of the spontaneous magnetization 
of iron was well known in Italy before Sarpi, Porta and Gilbert. 
This, Gilbert, and still better Cabaeus, explained as the influence of 


terrestrial magnetism. However, with regard to the observations 
of the needle's deviation made by Father Garzoni at Rome, we can, 
without having attributed it, as docs Cabceus, to the magnetization 
of pieces of iron concealed in its wall, explain it, as is done in the new 
and important experiments of the illustrious professor Silvestro 
Gherardi, who attributes it to the magnetic polarity of the Mattoni 
[bricks] in the structure itself." 

It is said by Humboldt (" Cosmos," 1849, Vol. II. p. 718, note) 
that this observation, the first of the kind, was made on the tower 
of the church of the Augustincs at Mantua (Mantova) and that 
Grimaldi and Gassendi were acquainted with similar instances 
(instancing the cross of the church of St. Jean, at Aix, in Provence), 
in geographical latitudes where the inclination of the magnetic 
needle is very considerable. Some writers give Gassendi 's oVx.erva- 
tion as occurring during 1632 (see Rohaulti, " Physica," 1718, 
Par. III. cap. 8, p. 399; or, Rohault's "System of Nat. Phil./' 
1728, p. 176). 

" As the iron cross of an hundred weight upon the Church of 
St. John in Ariminum, or that load-stoned iron of Caesar Moder- 
atus, set down by Aldrovandus " (Sir Thomas Browne, " Pseudo- 
do xia Epidemica," 1658, p. 66). 

Consult " Lettcra dell' Ecccl. Cavallara./ 1 Mantova, 1586, for a 
detailed account of this discovery, made January 6, of the last- 
named year. The iron rod supported a brick ornament in the form 
of an acorn, and stood on a pyramid at the summit of the belfry 
of the church of St. Augustine (Cabaeus, " Philos. Magn.," p. 62; 
" Ulysses Aldrovandi, Patr. Bon on . . . Barthol. Ambros ..." 
Lib. i, cap. 6, p. 134). 

For the account given by Aldrovandi of the Arimini observation 
and for references to Browne's " Pseudodoxia Epidemica," as well as 
to Boyle's " Experiments," see p. 53 of the valuable " Notes on the 
' De Magnete ' of Dr. William Gilbert," by Silvanus P. Thompson, 
attached to the English translation of the original 1600 edition, 
which was so attractively produced by the Gilbert Club during the 
year 1900. Dr. Thompson further gives, at the page following (54), 
additional references to examples of iron acquiring strong permanent 
magnetism from the earth. 

REFERENCES. Biography of Sarpi in the " Encycl. Brit.," ninth 
edition, Vol. XXI. pp. 311-313; F. Micanzio, " Vita dc F. P. Sarpi/' 
Verona, 1750; Rev. Alex. Robertson, " Fra Paolo Sarpi the greatest 
of the Venetians," 189} ; Hallam, " Intro, to Lit.," 1839, Vol. II. p. 464; 
U. Aldrovandi, " Musacum Metallieum," 1648, p. 134; Tiraboschi, 
" Storia della Lettera," Modena, 1794, Vol. VI. part ii. p. 506; Sarpi's 
Complete Works, first published at Ilelmstat, 1750; Fabroni, " Vitae 
Italorum," Pisa, 1798; Giovini, " Vita," Brussels, 1836; " Engl. Cycl.," 


Biography, Vol. IV. pp. 695-697; Larousse, " Diet. Univ." Vol. XIV. 
pp. 230-231 ; " History of the reign of Charles the Fifth," by Wm. 
Robertson and Wm. H. Prescott, Philadelphia, 1883, Vol. III. p. 68; 
" Diet. Hist, de la Mdecine," N. F. J. Eloy, Mons, 1778, Vol. IV. pp. 
180-181 ; " The Atlantic Monthly," New York, January and February, 
1904, wherein the author, Andrew D. White, ranks Sarpi with Machia- 
vdli and Galileo; Libri, " Hist, des So. Malhem." Paris, 1838, Vol. IV. 
p. 214, note. 

A.D. 1632. Gassendi (Pierre), an eminent French savant, 
professor at the Royal College of France, " ranked by Barrow 
among the most eminent mathematicians of the age, and mentioned 
with Galileo, Gilbert and Descartes/' discovers that a part of the 
iron cross of the Church of St. Jean at Aix possesses all the 
properties of a loadstone after being struck by lightning and lying 
in one position a certain length of time. Gilbert mentions, " De 
Magnete," 1600, Book III. chap, xii.) that the fact of magnetism 
being imparted to an iron bar by the earth was first ascertained by 
examining the rod upon the tower of the church of St. Augustine 
at Arimini (Sir Thomas Browne, " Pseud. Epidemica," London, 
1650, p. 48; U. Aldrovandi, " Musaeum Metallicum," Milan, 1648, 

P- 134)- 

In the " Vie de Pierre Gassendi/' par le Pere Bougerel de 
1'Oratoire, Paris, 1737, p. 14, it is related that during the month 
of September 1621, while promenading about three leagues' dis- 
tance from Aix in a village named Peynier, he observed a light in 
the heavens to which he gave the name of aurora borealis, as 
much on account of its location as by reason of its resemblance 
to the light which precedes the rising of the sun. 

From the " History of the Royal Society," by C. R. Weld, 
1848, Vol. II. p. 430, is taken the following, communicated by 
Humboldt : 

" The movement of the magnetic lines, the first recognition of 
which is usually ascribed to Gassendi, was not even yet conjectured 
by William Gilbert ; but, at an early period, Acosta, ' from the 
information of Portuguese navigators/ assumed four lines of no 
declination upon the surface of the globe. ... In the remarkable 
map of America appended to the Roman edition of the Geography 
of Ptolemy in 1508, we find, to the north of Gruentland (Greenland), 
a part of Asia represented and the magnetic pole marked as an 
insular mountain. Martin Cortez, in the ' Breve Cornpendio de 
la Sphera ' (1545), and Livio Sanuto, in the ' Geographia di 
Tolomeo ' (1588), place it more to the south. Sanuto entertained 
a prejudice, which, strange to say, has existed in later times, that 
a man who should be so fortunate as to reach the magnetic pole 
(// calamities) would then experience alcun mimcoloso stupendo 


effecto " (" Cosmos/ 1 translated under the superintendence of Col. 
Sabine, Vol. II. p. 280). In a footnote to the Ott^ translation of 
Humboidt, 1859, Vol. V. p. 58, it is stated that calamitico was the 
name given to the instruments in consequence of the first needles 
for the compass having been made in the shape of a frog. 

In Gilbert's " De Magnete," allusion is made to Martinus Cortez, 
Book I. chap, i., also Book III. chap. i. and Book IV. chap, i., 1 
and to Livio Sanuto in Book I. chap, i., also in Book IV. chaps, 
i. and ix. In these several passages, Gilbert tells us that Martinus 
Cortez holds the loadstone's seat of attraction to be beyond the 
poles, and he states the views of other writers in this respect, citing 
more particularly T. de Bessard (author of " Le Dialogue de la 
Longitude "), Jacobus Servertius (who wrote " De Orbis Catop- 
trici "), as well as Robert Norman, Franciscus Maurolycus, Marsilio 
Ficino, Cardan, Scaliger, Costa and Petrus Peregrinus (M. J. 
Klaproth, " Lettre a M. le Baron de Humboidt/' Paris, 1834, 
pp. 16-17, 37)- 

REFERENCES. Enfield, " Hist. Phil./' Vol. III. p. 430 ; " Le Cosmos " 
for May and June 1859, containing a very interesting series entitled, 
" Les Annees Me'te'ores " ; Lardner, Vol. II. p. 113; Humboidt, "Cos- 
mos," 1859-1860, Vol. II. p. 335, and Vol. V. pp. 146-153; Julius 
Caesar at A.D. 1590; Houzeau et Lancaster, Vol. II. p. 146; " Mem. de 
1'Acad. Royalc des Sciences," Vol. X. p. 737; " Phil. Hist, and Memoirs 
of the Royal Acad. of Sc.," Vol. II. p. 281 ; " Geschichte der Mathe- 
matik," Vol. IV. p. 474. 

A.D. 1632. Galileo (Galileo Galilei), Italian philosopher and 
mathematician, publishes his celebrated " Dialogo sopra i due 
massimi sistemi del mondo tolemaico e copernicano," 4to, Fiorenza, 
from p. 88 of which is extracted the following passage : 

Sagredus : " You remind me of a man who offered to sell me a 
secret for permitting one to speak, through the attraction of a 
certain magnet needle, to someone distant two or three thousand 
miles, and I said to him that I would be willing to purchase it, 
but that I would like to witness a trial of it, and that it would 
please me to test it, I being in one room and he being in another. 

1 It is in the afore-mentioned Book IV. chap. i. that Gilbert makes 
mention of Norumbega, "the lost city of New England," regarding which 
latter very interesting particulars will be found in the following publications : 
" Magazine of Ainer. Hist." for 1877, pp. 14, 321, and for 1886, p. 291 ; 
" New England's Lost City Found " ; Lang's " Sagas of the Kings of Norway " ; 
" Antiquitates Americana?/' Royal Soc. of Copenhagen; Shea's "Catholic 
Church in Colonial Days "; " Narrative and Critical History of America," 
by Justin Winsor, Boston, 1889, Vol. II. pp. 451, 453, 459, 472; Vol. III. 
pp. 169-218 ; Vol. IV. pp. 53, 71, 88, 91-99, 101, 152, 373, 384 ; Vol. V. p. 479 ; 
R. Hakluyt, " The Principal Navigations/' Edinburgh, 1889, Vol. XIII. 
p. 162, note; J. G. Bourinot, "Canada," London, 1897, p. 28; Horsford, 
" Cabot's Landfall in 1497, and the site of Norumbega " ; " Discovery of the 
Ancient City of Norumbega"; also " Defences of Norumbega." 


He told me that, at such a short distance, the action could not be 
witnessed to advantage ; so I sent him away and said that I could 
not just then go to Egypt or Muscovy to see his experiment, but 
if he would go there himself I would stay and attend to the rest 
in Venice." 

This Sagredus (Johannes Franciscus), or Sagredo (Giovanni 
Francisco), besides being " a great magneticall man," was a noble 
Venetian, even a doge, and had represented his country as am- 
bassador at several courts. We read in Mr. Conrad W. Cooke's 
very able article on William Gilbert of Colchester, originally printed 
in London " Engineering/' that this same Sagrcdus was the intimate 
friend of Galileo, and that, together with the powerful Sarpi, he 
used the whole might of his name and influence to protect the 
great philosopher and mathematician from the attacks of the 
clerical party. Pietro Sarpi, otherwise known as Father Paul, 
was, as already shown, a most illustrious Venetian scholar, who 
attained great proficiency in the medical and physiological sciences 
as well as in mathematics and in natural philosophy. Sagrcdus 
made several meritorious researches in magnetism, and, while on 
a voyage to Aleppo, ascertained the declination of the magnetic 
needle at that place. As a tribute to the scientific attainments of 
Sagrcd'iis, Galileo gave his name to one of the characters in his 
" Systema Cosmicum," and many references to the work by William 
Gilbert are put into the mouth of Sagr edits. 

In further illustration of Galileo's appreciation of Gilbert, the 
following is quoted from the great astronomer's own writing : " I 
extremely admire and envy the author of ' De Magneto.' I think 
him worthy of the greatest praise for the many new and true ob- 
servations which he has made, to the disgrace of so many vain and 
fabling authors, who write not from their own knowledge only, but 
repeat everything they hear from the foolish and vulgar, without 
attempting to satisfy themselves of the same by experience ; perhaps 
that they may not diminish the size of their books " (Drinkwater's 
" Life of Galileo "). 

Galileo had also published, in 1630, the first edition of his " I 
discorsi e demons trazioni . . ." which Lagrange considers to be 
Galileo's most substantial title to scientific glory. 

REFERENCES. Galileo's Biography in " Engl. CycL," Vol. III. 
pp. 13-17; Miller, " Hist. Phil, lllust.," London, 1849, Vol. III. p. 203, 
note; Nelli, "Vita," 1793; Libri, "Hist, dcs Sc. Math./' Paris, 1838, 
Vol. IV. pp. 157-294, 473-484; Houzeau ct Lancaster, " Bibliog. 
G6nerale," Vol. I. part i. pp. 655-657 for an analyzation of the works 
of Galileo, also Vol. II. pp. 137-145", 1576-1578; Wm. Whcwell, " Phil, 
of the Ind. Sc.," London, 1840, Vol. II. pp. 379-383; Guillaume Libri, 
" Histoire des Sc. Math.," Halle, 1865, Vol. IV. pp. 157-302, and the notes ; 


" Journal des Savants " for September and October 1840, for March 
and April 1841, for July to November 1858, for September 1868 and for 
October 1877; " Geschichtc der Mat hem.," Vol. IV. pp. 4, 173, etc.; 
Larousse, "Diet.," Vol. V11L p. 954; "La Grande Eneycl.," Vol. 
XVJIL pp. 383-385; " Biog. Gen.," Vol. XI. pp. 252-267; Fabroni (A.), 
" Vita; Italorum," 1778-1805, also "Elogid' lllustiiltaliani," 1786-1789; 
likewise the very numerous entries concerning Galileo's history, his Op- 
ponents, Supporters and School, which appear at pp. 331-357, Part I. of 
Libri's " Catalogue," published in 1861. Consult also " Galileo," by 
Ed. S. Holden, in the " Popular Sc. Monthly " for January, February, 
May and June 1905; " Bibliot. Brit.," Vol. XVI. N.S., 1821, pp. 3-21, 
79-100, for an account of the life of Galileo by M. G. B. C16ment de 
Nelli; " Journal des Scavans," Vol. LXX. for 1721, p. 350 in his " Sag- 
giotorc " ; "Imperial Dictionary of Universal Biography," published 
by Wm. McKenzie, London, pp. 536-539, giving an account of Galileo's 
other discoveries. 

A.D. 1635. Delambre (J. B. J.) (1749-1822), professor of 
astronomy at the Royal College of France, refers (Vol. II. p. 545 of 
his " Histoire de 1'Astronomie Ancienne," 1817) to the mention 
made in " Procli Diadochi Paraphrasis Ptolem./' lib. iv. " de siderum 
effectionibus," 1635, p. 20, of the notion long current, especially 
along the shores of the Mediterranean, " that if a magnetic rod be 
rubbed with an onion, or brought into contact with the emanations 
of the plant, the directive force will be diminished, while a compass 
thus treated would mislead the steersman/' 

REFERENCES. Humboldr, " Cosmos," 1859, Vol. V. p. 156, also 
the entry at A.D. 1653. See likewise Whcwcll, " Hist, of the Ind. Sc.," 
Vol. I. pp. 442, 443, 447, and the biography in the Supplement of the 
"English Cyclopedia," pp. 539-5 fi; "Journal des Savants," for 
April 1828. 

A.D. 1635. Gellibrand (Henry), prominent English mathe- 
matician, professor of geometry and the successor of Edmund 
Gunter (A.D. 1624), in the chair of astronomy at Gresham College, 
publishes his discovery of the secular variation of the declination. 
The credit of this discovery has been by many given to John Mair. 
The diurnal and horary variation was found by Graham in 1722, 
and the annual variation was discovered by Cassini, 1782-1791. 

Gellibrand's discovery is published in a small quarto pamphlet 
entitled " A discourse mathematical on the variation of the mag- 
neticall needle together with the admirable diminution lately 
discovered," and is the result of his study of the observations made 
by Burrough and Gunter as well as of observations made by himself, 
all showing that the north-east of the needle was gradually moving 
to the westward. 

Mention has already been made of the fact that the variation 
of the variation was at this period attracting the attention it deserved, 
and it is worth while giving here an account of the discovery in the 
author's own words : 


" Thus, hitherto, according to the Tenents of all our Magnetical 
Philosophers, we have supposed the variations of all particular 
places to continue one and the same. So that when a Seaman shall 
happly return to a place where formerly he found the same varia- 
tion, he may hence conclude he is in the same former longitude. 
For it is the assertion of Mr. Dr. Gilbert's Variatio unicuiusq ; loci 
constant est t that is to say, the same place doth always retaine the 
same variation. Neither hath this assertion, for ought I ever 
heard, been questioned by any man. But most diligent magneticall 
observations have plain ely offered violence to the same, and 
proved the contrary, namely, that the variation is accompanied 
with a variation." 

A.D. 1637. Bond (Henry), Professor of Mathematics in London, 
and who appears in one of his treatises as "a famous teacher of 
the art of navigation," is the author of the " Sea-man's Kalen- 
dar . . . with a discovery of the . . . secret of longitude ..." 
of which other editions appeared during 1640 and 1696. 

This was followed by many papers on the variation (the most 
important of which are to be found in Phil. Trans, for 1668, 1672, 
1673) and, during 1678 by " The Longitude not found, or an 
answer to a treatise written by H. B. . . ." This treatise was in a 
sixty-five page pamphlet which had been issued by Mr. Bond's 
father during 1676, under caption : " The Longitude Found ; or a 
treatise shewing an easie and speedy way, as well by Night as by 
Day, to find the Longitude, having but the Latitude of the Place 
and the Inclination of the Magneticall Inclinatorie Needle ..." 
wherein he explains his discovery of the progress of the deviation 
of the compass and foretells the variations for London, 1663 to 
1716. This treatise led to the controversy with Peter Blackborrow 
(Beckborrow), the title to whose published work reads : " The 
Longitude not found : or an answer to a treatise written by H. Bond, 
senior, shewing a way to find the longitude by the magnetical 
inclinatory needle : wherein is proved that the longitude is not nor 
cannot be found by the magnetic inclinatory needle." 

As Humboldt remarks, the resulting controversy, together with 
Acosta's view that there were four lines of no variation which 
divided the earth's surface, may, as already stated, have had 
some influence on the theory advanced, in 1683, by Edmund 
Halley, of four magnetic poles or points of convergence (" Cosmos," 
1859-1860, Vol. I. p. 193, note; Vol. II. pp. 280-281, note; Vol. V. 
p. 58; also Humboldt's " Examen Critique de 1'Histoire de la 
Geographic," Vol. III. p. 60. See likewise the Phil. Trans, for 
October 19, 1668, p. 790, and for 1673, Vol. VIII. p. 6065, also 


following abridgments : Hutton, Vol. II. p. 78, and Lowthorp, 
Vol. II. p. 610). 

REFERENCES. Walker, " Magnetism," Chap. I; John Pell, " Letter 
of Remarks on Gcllibrand's Math. Disc.," 1635; " Annalcs de Chimie et 
de Physique," Mars 1902, Vol. XXV. pp. 289-307 ; Humboldt, " Cosmos," 
1859, Vol. V. pp. 61, 116; Whewell, " Hist, of the Ind. Sc.," 1859, Vol. 
II. p. 219; G. Hellmann, " Neudrucke vonschriften," No. 9; Baddam's 
abridgments of the Phil. Trans., 1739, Vol. IV. p. 102. 

A.D. 1641. Wilkins (John), Bishop of Chester in the reign of 
Charles II, publishes the first edition of " Mercury, or the secret 
and swift messenger, showing how a man, with privacy and speed, 
may communicate his thoughts to a friend at any distance." l 

In the above, he thus alludes to the possibility of making u 
contrivance similar to our modern phonograph : " There is another 
experiment . . . mentioned by Walchius, who thinks it possible 
so to contrive a trunk or hollow pipe that it shall preserve the voice 
entirely for certain hours or days, so that a man may send his 
words to a friend instead of his writing. There being always a 
certain space of intermission, for the passage of the voice, betwixt 
its going into these cavities and its coming out; he conceives that 
if both ends were seasonably stopped, while the sound was in the 
midst, it would continue there till it had some vent. Hmc tubo. 
verba nostra insusurrcmus, ct cum probe munitur tabcllario com- 
mitiamus, etc. When the friend to whom it is sent shall receive 
and open it, the words shall come out distinctly, and in the same 
order wherein they were spoken. From such a contrivance as this 
[saith the same author] did Albertus Magnus make his Image, and 
Friar Bacon his Brazen Head, to utter certain words." 

In the eighteenth chapter, he makes suggestions for "a lan- 
guage that may consist of only tunes and musical notes, without 
any articulate sound." 

He had previously described a novel mode of telegraphing by 
the use of only three torches (or lights), to designate the twenty-four 
letters of the alphabet. These letters were, according to the plan 
of Joachimus Fortius, to be placed in three classes of eight each. 
One torch indicated Class I, two torches Class II, three torches 
Class III, and the number of the letter was shown by the number 
of times a torch was elevated. 

1 " That which first occasioned this Discourse, was the reading of a little 
Pamphlet, stiled, Nuntius Inanimatus (by Dr. Francis Godwin) ; wherein he 
affirms that there arc certain ways to discourse with a Friend, though he 
were in a close Dungeon, in a besieged City, or a hundred miles off. . . . 
After this, I did collect all such Notes to this purpose, as I met with in the 
course of my other Studies. From whence when I had received full satis- 
faction, I did for mine own further delight compose them into this method." 
The Author. 


Bishop Wilkins also described a method of telegraphing by 
means of two lights attached to long poles, which, he says, " for 
its quickness and speed is much to be preferred before any of the 
rest." To interpret messages at long distances, he suggested the 
use of the then newly invented telescope ; which he called " Galileus 
his perspective." 

REFERENCES. The third edition of above-named work, Chap. XVII. 
pp. 71, 72, also the fifth edition of Wilkin's " Mathematical Magick," 
London, 1707, Chap. XIII. pp. 147 -150, " concerning several attempts of 
contriving a perpetual motion by magnet ical virtues." Likewise 
Whewell, " Hist, of the Ind. Sc.," 1859, Vol. I. pp. 332, 395; Mendoza, 
" Tratado cle Navcgacion," Vol. II. p. 72; Alex. Chalmers, " Gen. Biog. 
Diet.," London, 1811, Vol. XXXI I. pp. 74-82. 

A.D. 1641. Kircher (Athanasius), a German writer on physical 
and mathematical science (1601-1680), member of the Order of 
Jesuits, possessed of immense erudition and believing in the mag- 
netism of all things, speaks in his " Magncs sive de arte magnetica " 
(Book II. pt. iv. chap, v.), of the recently advanced idea of being 
able to correspond at short distances by employing two spherical 
vessels bearing the letters of the alphabet, each of the letters having 
suspended from it a magnetized figure attached to a vertical wire. 

He likewise alludes to Gellibrand's discovery, A.D. 1635, of which 
he was informed by John Greaves, the eminent English mathe- 
matician, and he communicates a letter received from the learned 
French philosopher, le Pcre Mann Mersenne, containing a distinct 
account of the same. 

His definition of universal magnetism, according to Madame 
Blavatsky, is very original, for he contradicted Gilbert's theory 
that the earth was a great magnet. He asserted that, although 
every particle of matter and even the intangible " powers " were 
magnetic, they did not themselves constitute a magnet. There is 
bid one Magnet in the universe, and from it proceeds the magnetization 
of everything existing. This magnet is, of course, what the Kabalists 
term the central Spiritual Sun, or God. ... He demonstrates the 
difference between mineral magnetism and zoomagnetism, or animal 
magnetism, and says that the sun is the most magnetic of all 
bodies. ... It imparts the binding power to all things falling 
under its direct rays (" Isis Unveiled," pp. 208-210). 

Another Jesuit, Jacobo Grandamico (1588-1672), published in 
1645, " Nova demonstratio immobilitatis terrae petit a ex virtute 
magnetica/' wherein he shares fully the views of Niccolas Cabseus, 
Athanasius Kircher, Vincentus Leotaudus and others of the same 
Order relative to the earth's magnetism (Larousse, " Diet.," Vol. 
VIII. p. 1445). 


REFERENCES. " Journal des Scavans " pour 1665 et 1666, pp. 
519-525, 571-578; " Nouvcau Larousse," par Claude Auge, Pans, 
Vol. V. p. 485; " Salmonscn . . . konvcrsationsleksikon," 1900, p. 480; 
Van Swindcii, " Recucil," 1784, Vol. II. pp. 352, 361, 394, and the 
different works named in Ronalds's "Catalogue," pp. 266-267; ninth 
ed. " Encycl. Brit./' Vol. XIV. pp. 93-94. 

A.D. 1644. Digby (Sir Kenclme), the very famous Englishman 
to whom allusion has already been made under the B.C. 600-580 
entry, publishes, in Paris, " Two Treatises, in the one of which 
the Nature of Bodies : in the other, the nature of Man's Soule is 
looked into : in Way of Discovery of the Immortality of Reasonable 
Soules." l In a chapter of this work, entitled " Of the loadstone's 
generation and its particular motions," appears the following 
interesting reference to Gilbert's work and reputation : " But to 
come to experimcntall proofes and obseruations vpon the loadstone 
by which it will appcare that these causes are well esteemed and 
applyed, we must be beholding to that admirable searcher of the 
nature of the loadstone, Doctor Gilbert : by means of whom and 
of Doctor Haruey, our nation may claim euen in this latter age 
as deserued a crowne for solide Philosophicall learning as for many 
ages together it hath done formerly for acute and subtile Speculations 
in Diuinity. But before I fall to particulars, I thinke it worth 
warning my Reader, how this great man arriued to discouer so 
much of Magneticall Philosophy ; that he, likewise, if he be desirous 
to search into nature, may, by imitation, advance his thoughts 
and knowledge that way. In short, then, all the knowledge he 
gott of this subject was by forming a little loadstone into the shape 
of the earth. By which meanes he compassed a wonderful designe, 
which was to make the whole globe of the earth maniable; for he 
found the properties of the whole earth in that little body; which 
he therefore called a Terrella, or little earth ; and which he could 
manage and trye experiences vpon att his will. And, in like 
manner, any man that hath an ayme to aduance much in naturall 
sciences, must endeauour to draw the matter he inquireth of, into 
some such inodell, or some kinde of manageable methode; which 
he may turne and winde as he please th. And then lett him be 
sure, if he hath a competent vnderstanding, that he will not misse 
of his marke." 

REFERENCES. " The Private Memoirs of Sir Kenclme Digby, Gen- 
tleman of the Bedchamber of King Charles I," London, 1827; " Diet. 

1 In the second edition of Digby's " The Immortality of Reasonable 
Soules " (" a treatise on the soul proving its immortality "), published during 
the year 1645, are to be found attractive portraits of himself and of his wife, 
Venetia Anastasia Stanley, daughter of Sir Edward Stanley, of Tongue 
Castle, one of the celebrated beauties of her day. 


of Nat. Biog.," Vol. XV. pp. 60-66; " New Gen. Biog. Diet.," London, 
1850, Vol. XI. p. 390; " Gen. Biog. Diet. " of Alex. Chalmers, London, 
1811, pp. 70-78; "Emerson's Works," London, 1873, Vol. II. p. 35; 
" The Library" for April 1902, has, at pp. 131-132, the arms of the 

A.D. 1644. Descartes (Rene), a prominent French philosopher 
and mathematician, publishes his " Principia Philosophise/' divided 
into four parts ; the first giving an exposition of the principles of all 
human knowledge, the second treating of the principles of natural 
things, and the third and fourth parts developing his theory of 
vortices. His main idea was that a rush of subtle matter passes 
very rapidly through the earth from the equator towards each pole, 
being opposed by magnetic substances throughout its passage and 
that the sun is the centre of a vortex of an ethereal fluid, whose 
whirling motion produces the revolution of planets about the sun, 
or around the fixed stars. Moreover, as Noad states it, " the vortex 
moves with the greatest facility in a particular direction, one of its 
ends being always turned toward the north." 

One of the most prominent fellow-students of Descartes was 
Marin Mersenne, who joined the religious Order of " Minimes/' 
and who, after publishing in 1634 and 1639 " Les Mccaniques de 
Galilee " and " Nouvelles De'couvertes de Galilee," brought out, 
during the years 1644 and 1647, his well-known " Cogitata phisico- 
mathematica," which, Montucla says, contains un ocean d' observations 
de toutes especes . . . and embraces a very interesting treatise on 
navigation besides many letters from leading scientists of that 
period not elsewhere to be found. 

REFERENCES. " La grancle Encyclopedic," Vol. XXIII. pp. 730-731 ; 
Larousse, " Diet.," Vol. XL p. 94 ; " Biographic Generate," Vol. XXXV. 
pp. 118-123; "The English Cyclopaedia," Vol. IV. p. 206; Alex. Chal- 
mers, "Gen. Biog. Diet.," London, 1811, Vol. XXII. pp. 81-83; " Bio- 
graphic Universelle," Vol. X. pp. 465-473; Whcwell, " Hist, of the Ind. 
Sc.," Vol. I. pp. 323, 328, 338, 339, 343, 354, 387, 423, 429, 430 ; Vol. II. p. 
220 ; likewise pp. 320 and 390 of Vol. I. relative to Le Pere Marin Mersenne 
and pp. 391 and 423 concerning the " Trait 6 de Physique " of James 
Rohault; Playf air's Fourth Dissertation in the eighth edition of the 
" Encycl. Britann." ; " Essai thorique . . . des connaissances humaines," 
par G. Tibcrghien, Bruxelles, 1844, Vol. I. pp. 472-495 ; Dr. W. Windel- 
band, " History of Philosophy," New York, 1893, pp. 380-381, 391-396; 
Dr. F. Ueberweg, " History of Philosophy," New York, 1885, Vol. II. 
pp. 4155 ; Alfred Weber, "History of Philosophy," translated by Frank 
Thilly, New York, 1896, pp. 305-323; Ruard Andala, "Descartes in 
reality the overturner of Spinosism and the architect of experimental 
Philosophy "; Erasmus Bartholinus, " DC Cometis," Copenhagen, 1664- 
1665 ("Biog. Univ."; Weidler, p. 508) Mahaffy, 1880; Houzeau et 
Lancaster, " Bibl. Gen.," Vol. II. for Descartes, p. 119, and for Mersenne, 
p. 204; " Journal des Savants " for Feb. 1826, p. 103, for Feb. 1827, p. 
no, also for Aug.-Oct. 1850, Dec. 1860, Jan.-Feb. 1861, Oct. -Nov. 1869, 
Feb. April and July 1870, j88o, Aug. 1884, April 1898, 
Feb. 1899. 


A.D. 1646. Browne (Sir Thomas), an eminent English physician 
and writer, publishes the well-known treatise " Pseudodoxia Epi- 
demica, or Inquiries into Vulgar and Common Errors/' which ran 
through six editions in twenty-seven years, and upon which his 
fame is principally established. 

With regard to the possibility of such a magnetic telegraph as 
Strada speaks of he says (Book II. chap, iii.) : "The conceit is excel- 
lent and, if the effect would follow, somewhat divine; whereby we 
might communicate like spirits, and confer on earth with Menippus 
in the moon. And this is pretended from the sympathy of two 
needles, touched with the same loadstone, and placed in the centre 
of two abecedary circles or rings, with letters described round about 
them, one friend keeping one and another keeping the other, and 
agreeing upon the hour when they will communicate, at what dis- 
tance of place soever, when one needle shall be removed unto another 
letter, the other, by wonderful sympathy, will move unto the 

As the result of experiment, he found that " though the needles 
were separated but half a span, when one was moved the other would 
stand like the pillars of Hercules, and if the earth stand still, have 
surely no motion at all. . . . By electrical bodies," he says, " I 
understand not such as are metallical, mentioned by Pliny and the 
ancients ; for their clectmm was a mixture made of gold, with the 
addition of a fifth part of silver ; a substance now as unknown as true 
aurichalcum , or Corinthian brass, and set down among things lost by 
Pancirollus. Nor by electric bodies do I imagine such only as take 
up shavings, straws and light bodies, amongst which the ancients 
placed only jet and amber, but such as, conveniently placed unto 
their objects, attract all bodies palpable whatsoever. I say conve- 
niently placed, that is, in regard of the object, that it be not too 
ponderous or any way affixed; in regard of the agent, that it be 
not foul or sullied, but wiped, rubbed and excitated; in regard of 
both, that they be conveniently distant, and no impediment inter- 
posed. I say, all bodies palpable, thereby excluding fire, which 
indeed it will not attract, nor yet draw through it, for fire consumes 
its effluxions by which it should attract." 

The different chapters of this second book treat of the loadstone, 
of bodies magnetical and electrical, of magnetical rocks and attrac- 
tive mountains, and also make allusion to the cross oh the church 
of St. John in Ariminium, to the reported magnetical suspension of 
Mahomet's tomb, etc. etc. 

At pp. 64, 81 and 87 of Chap. II he says : " Neither is it onely 
true, what Gilbertus first observed, that irons refrigerated North and 
South acquire a directive faculty ; but if they be cooled upright and 


perpendicularly, they will also obtain the same . . . Now this 
kind of practice, Libavius, Gilbertus and lately Swickardus, condemn, 
as vain and altogether unuseful ; because a loadstone in powder hath 
no attractive power ; for, in that form, it omits the polarity and loseth 
those parts which are the rule of attraction. . . . Glasse attracts but 
weakely though cleere, some slick stones and thick glasses attract 
indifferently; Arsenic not at all; Saltes generally but weakely, as 
Sal Gemma, Allum and also Talke, nor very discoverably by any 
frication ; but, if gently warmed at the fire and wiped with a dry 
cloth, they will better develop their Electricities." 

At Chapter XVII of the seventh book of the above-mentioned 
treatise, Browne makes allusion to " the story of Frier Bacon that 
made a Brazen Head to speak these words : " Time is . . ." 

REFERENCES. " Library of Literary Criticism," Chas. Wells Moulton, 
Vol. II. p. 330-345; " Fortnightly Review," for Oct. 1905, pp. 616-626, 
" Sir Thomas Browne and his Family " ; Edmund Gossc, in the " English 
Men of Letters Scries " ; Browne's " Letter " inserted in the " Biographia 
Britannica," also his entire works, recognized as an encyclopaedia of 
contemporary knowledge, and which were published in four octavo 
volumes by Simon Wilkins, F.S.A., London, 1836. 

A.D. 1653. In the third edition of " The Jewell House of Arte 
and Nature," by Sir Hugh Plat, originally published in 1594, and 
wrongly attributed in Weston's " Catalogue " to Gabriel Plattes, is to 
be found the following allusion to the loadstone : " And though 
. the adamant be the hardest of all stones, yet is it softened with Goa's 
blood and there is a special antipathy between that and the loadstone, 
which is of the colour of rusty iron, and hath an admirable vertuc 
not onely to draw iron to it self, but also to make any iron upon 
which it is rubbed to draw iron also, it is written notwithstanding 
that being rubbed with the juyce of Garlick, it loseth that vcrtue 
and cannot then draw iron, as likewise if a Diamond be layed close 
unto it." 

This " special antipathy " of garlick, and of the diamond whether 
or not the latter be softened with Goa's (goat's) blood is treated 
of very fully by many other authors, notably : 

Pliny, " Nat. Hist.," Holland tr. 1601, Chap. IV. p. 610; Plutarch, 
" Quocstoncs PlatonicaV lib. vii. cap. 7; Claudius Ptolcmacus, "Opus 
Quadripartitum," lib. i. cap. 3; St. Augustine, " De Civitate Dei," 
lib. xxi. ; Bartholom. dc Glanvilla, "Liber de Proprietatibus Rerum," 
lib. xvi. ; Pictro di Abano, "Conciliator Dififcrenliarum," 1520, pp. 
72-73, or the Venice edition of 1526, cap. 51; Joannes Ruellius, " De 
Nat ura Stirpium," 1536, pp. 125, 530; Ibn Roschd's "Comment on Aris- 
totle," 1550, T. IV. p. 143^; Cardinal de Cusa, " Opera," 1565, p. 175; 
C. Julius Solinus, " De Memorabilibus," cap. 64; Walter Charleton, 
" A Ternary of Paradoxes," London, 1650, pp. 40-41 ; Thomas Browne, 
" Pseudodoxia Epidcmica," 1658, p. 74 ; G. B. Porta, " Naturall Magi k," 
1658, Chap. XLVHIand Chap. LI 1 1 from both of which chapters extracts 


appear at the A.D. 1558 entry ; " Journal dcs Savants " for January 1894 ; 
Chas. de R6musat, " Hist, de la Philos.," Paris, 1878, Vol. II. p. 187. 

Rohault at p. 186 of his 1728 " Syst. of Nat. Phil." says : 
"As to what some writers have related, that a loadstone will not 
attract iron if there be a diamond near and that onions and garlic 
will make it lose its vertue; these are contradicted by a thousand 
experiments which I have tried. For I have shown that this stone 
will attract iron through the very thickest diamonds and through a 
great many thick skins which an onion is made up of." 

REFERENCES.---" Diet, of Nat. Biography," Vol. XLV. pp. 407-400, 
giving many particulars; J. 13. J. Delambre, at A.D. 1635. For (iabru>l 
Plattcs, sec the same " Diet, of Nat. Biography," Vol. XLV. p. 410. 

A.D. 1657. Schott (Caspar) P. Caspar Schott a German 
Jesuit who was sent to teach natural philosophy and mathematics 
at Palermo, Sicily, is the author of several very curious works on 
physics, of which the most important alone will here be noted. 

" Magiae Universalis Naturae et Artis," etc., appeared at Herbipoli 
in 1657, 1658, 1659. I n the first book of the fourth volume (or 
part) he indicates, according to Kirclier, whom he had met while in 
Rome, the means of conveying one's thoughts at a distance by the 
loadstone, and he alludes to the speaking head constructed by 
Albertus Magnus, while, in the third and fourth books of the same 
volume, he gives a long treatise on the loadstone as well as an account 
of numerous experiments made with it. 

" De Arte Mechanica," etc. (" Mechanics, " etc.), Herbipoli, 
1657-1658, contains, in Part II. class i. p. 314, the first published 
notice of Von Cuericke's experiments. 

" Physica Curiosa sive Mirabilia Naturae," etc., Herbipoli, 1662 
(which may justly be considered a continuation of the " Magiae 
Universalis "), treats in the eleventh book of St. Elmo's lire, thunder 
and meteors in general. 

11 Technica Curiosa sive Mirabilia Naturae," etc., Herbipoli, 
1664, alludes, in the first two books, to the experiments made by 
Von Cuericke and by Boyle, and gives the contents of eight letters 
written him by the first named. 

" Schola Steganographica," etc., Norimbergac, 1665, gives, at 
pp. 258-264, a description of the dial telegraph of Daniell Schwenter. 

" Jocoseriorum Naturae et Artis," etc., published about 1666, 
alludes to the " Thaumaturgus Mathematicus " of Caspar Ens, 
published at Cologne, 1651, as well as to the " Deliciae Physico- 
Mathematicae " of Daniell Schwenter and Geo. Philippi Harsdoerffer 
(Senator of Nuremberg), to " La Recreation Mathematique " of 


Jean Leurechon, and to the works of Cardan, Mizauld, Aldrovandi 
and others. 

REFERENCES. " Notice Raisonn6e des Ouvrages cle Caspar Schott," 
par M. L'Abbe" Mxxx de St. J,e"ger dc Soissons, Paris, 1785, pp. 6, 31, 
32, 37, 44, 70; Muirhead's translation of Arago's Eloge dc James Watt, 
London, 1839, p. 51.* 

A.D. 1660. Guericke (Otto von), a burgomaster of Magdeburg, 
Prussian Saxony, constructs the first frictional electric machine. 
It consisted of a globe of sulphur, cast in a glass sphere, and mounted 
upon a revolving axis, which when rubbed by a cloth pressed 
against it by the hand, emitted both sound and light. It was 
Guericke who " heard the first sound and saw the first light in arti- 
ficially excited electricity." He proved that light bodies, when 
attracted by an excited electric, were immediately repelled by the 
latter and became incapable of a second attraction until touched by 
some other body ; also that light bodies develop electrical excitation 
when suspended within the sphere of an excited electric. 

REFERENCES. " Experimcnta Nova Magdeburgica," 1672, lib. iv, 
cap. 15, p. 147, also all relating to the sulphur globe reproduced from the 
" Experimenta Nova " at end of Figuier's " Exposition et Histoire," etc., 
Vol. IV. Paris, 1857; Moncony, Voyages, 1665; Schott (Caspar), " Tech- 
nica Curiosa," etc., Norimbergse, 1664; " Abhandlungen zur Geschichte 
der Mathem.," Leipzig, 1898, Vol. VIII. pp. 69-112, for the two articles 
by Ferdinand Rosenberger on the development of the electric machine, 
etc., from the time of Von Guericke. 

A.D. 1660. At the meeting of the English Royal Society, held 
June 5, 1660, Magnetical Remedies were discoursed of. Sir Gilbert 
Talbot promised to bring in what he knew of sympatheticall cures, 
and those who possessed any powder of sympathy were requested to 
fetch some at the next meeting. 

A.D. 1661. Somerset (Edward), second Marquis of Worcester, 
an English inventor, announces, in his " Century of Inventions," 
that he has discovered " a method by which at a window as far as 
the eye can discover black from white, a man may hold discourse 
with his correspondent, without noise made or notice taken ; being, 
according to occasion given, or means afforded, ex re nata, and no 
need of provision before-hand : though much better if foreseen, and 
course taken by mutual consent of parties/' This method, he 

1 Libri says (" Catal.," 1861, Pt. II. p. 701) that the learned Jesuit, Schott, 
seems to have been very conversant with angels, for he not only dedicated 
his " Magia Naturalis " to an angel, but likewise another of his works, the 
" Magia Arithmetica," wherein he indicates the total number of the angels in 
existence, that number being composed of sixty-eight numerical figures. 


asserts, he can put into practice " by night as well as by day, though 
as dark as pitch is black." 

REFERENCES. Dircks' "Life of Worcester," p. 357; " Dictionary of 
National Biography," Vol. LIU. pp. 232-237. 

A.D. 1662. Rupert (Prince Robert), of Bavaria, son of 
Frederick V, elector palatine, and one of the founders of the Royal 
Society of London, is credited with the discovery of the curious 
glass bubbles called " Rupert's drops." These are merely drops 
of glass thrown, when melted, into water, and thus becoming suddenly 
consolidated into a shape somewhat resembling the form of a tear. 
The globular end may be subjected to quite a smart stroke without 
breaking, but if a particle of the tail is nipped off, the whole flies 
into fine powder with almost explosive violence. 

' ' Mr. Peter did show us the experiment (which I had heard talked 
of) of the chymicall glasses, which break all to dust by breaking off 
a little small end; which is a great mystery to me " (Samuel Pepys, 
" Diary," January 13, 1662). 

Sir David Brewster discovered that the fracture of these un- 
annealed drops was accompanied by the evolution of electrical 
light, which appears even when they are broken under water. 
Mr. Bennet observed that when one of the drops was placed upon 
a book, the latter was electrified negatively. 

REFERENCES. The articles on " Annealing," " Optics," and " Elec- 
tricity " in the " Encyclopaedia Britannica " ; also the biography in 
"Penny Cycl.," Vol. XX. pp. 226-227; Le Cat, "Memoir," London, 
1749-1750, or Philos. Trans. , XLVI. p. 175. 

A.D. 1665. Grimaldi (Francesco Maria), Italian philosopher 
(1618-1663), member of the Order of Jesuits and an associate of 
the astronomer Giovanni Battista Riccioli (at A.D. 1270) is the 
author of the important work " Physico mathesis de Lumine . . ." 
which cites the discovery of magnetism produced by the perpen- 
dicular holding of an iron bar. 

REFERENCES. Phil. Trans, for 1665 ; " Engl. Cycl.," article 
"Biography," Vol. CXI. p. 207; Larousse, "Diet.," Vol. VIII, p. 1531. 
And, for Riccioli's works, see Houzcau et Lancaster, " Bibliog. Gen.," 
Vol. III. p. 238; " Jo'urn. desSfavans" pour 1665 et 1666, pp. 642-647. 

A.D. 1665. Glanvill (Joseph), an eminent English divine and 
philosopher, Chaplain to King Charles II and F.R.S., sometimes 
called " Sadducismus Triumphatus Glanvill," endorses in his " Scepsis 
Scientifica " (" the vanity of dogmatizing recast ") published 
originally in 1661 the views advanced previously by the Jesuit 
Leurechon, and, after discussing the objections of Sir Thomas 
Browne, expresses the belief that " to confer at the distance of the 


Indies by sympathetic conveyances may be as usual to future times 
as to us in literary correspondence." 

A writer in the " Bath Chronicle " reproduced a long extract from 
GlanvilTs work, the concluding sentence of which, he says, seems 
to have anticipated the electric telegraph. It is as follows : " But 
yet to advance another instance. That men should confer at very 
distant removes by an extemporary intercourse is a reputed im- 
possibility ; but yet there are some hints in natural operations 
that give us probability that 'tis feasible, and may be compassed 
without unwarrantable assistance from demoniack correspondence. 
That a couple of needles equally touched by the same magnet, 
being set in two dials exactly proportioned to each other, and 
circumscribed by the letters of the alphabet, may effect this ' mag- 
nale ' (i. e. important result) hath considerable authorities to 
avouch it. 

" The manner of it is thus represented : Let the friends that 
would communicate take each a dial, and, having appointed a time 
for their sympathetic conference, let one move his impregnate 
needle to any letter in the alphabet, and its affected fellow will 
precisely respect the same. So that, would I know what my friend 
would acquaint me with, 'tis but observing the letters that are 
pointed at by my needle, and in their order transcribing them from 
their sympathized index, as its motion directs ; and I may be assured 
that my friend described the same with his, and that the words on 
my paper are of his inditing. Now, though there will be some ill- 
contrivance in a circumstance of this invention, in that the thus 
impregnate needles will not move to, but avert from each other (as 
ingenious Dr. Browne hath observed), yet this cannot prejudice 
the main design of this way of secret conveyance; since it is but 
reading counter to the magnetic informer, and noting the letter 
which is most distant in the Abecederian circle from that which the 
needle turns to, and the case is not altered. 

" Now, though this desirable effect may possibly not yet answer 
the expectations of inquisitive experiment, yet 'tis no despicable 
item, that by some other such way of magnetick efficiency it may 
hereafter with success be attempted, when magical history shall 
be enlarged by riper inspections; and 'tis not unlikely but that 
present discoveries might be improved to the performance." 

Glanvill is also the author of " Philosophical Considerations 
Touching Witches and Witchcraft," 1666, and of " The Sadducismus 
Triumphatus," 1681. 

REFERENCES. " Diet, of Nat. Biog.," 1908, Vol. VII. pp. 1287-8; 
Larousse, " Diet.," Vol. VII I. pp. 1294-1295 ; "Nature," Vol. XVI. p. 269; 
" Histoire de la Philosophic," par Charles de R6musat, Paris, 1878, Vol. II. 


chap. xi. pp. 184-201 ; " The General Biog. Diet.," Alex. Chalmers, 
London, 1811, Vol. XVI. pp. 12-17; " Joseph Glanvill," by Ferris 
Greenslet, New York, 1905; Imperial Diet, of Universal Biography/ 1 
Vol. II. p. 642. 

A.D. 1666. Denys (William), hydrographer, of Dieppe, 
observes that the compasses placed in different parts of a vessel 
give different indications (Becquerel, " Magnetisme," p. 119; 
" Journal des Sgavans " pour 1665 et 1666, p. 538). 

A.D. 1671. -Richer (T.), French philosopher, who was sent by 
the Paris Academy of Sciences to the island of Cayenne for the 
purpose of determining the amount of terrestrial refraction and for 
other astronomical objects, is the first to make known the electrical 
powers of the gymnotus electricus. 

REFERENCES. Leithead, "Electricity," Chap. XII; Fahie, "El. 
Tel./' p. 171; Bertholon, " Eiec. du Corps Humain," 1786, Vol. I. 
p. 171 ; Mem. de I'Acad. des Sciences, 1677, Art. VI; Richer, " Observa- 
tions," etc., Paris, 1679; Bancroft, at A.D. 1769; "Cosmos," 1859, 
Vol. V. pp. 23-24. 

A.D. 1671. Rohault (Jacques), a French philosophical writer, 
and one of the earliest, ablest and most active propagators of the 
Cartesian philosophy in France, publishes at Paris the first edition 
of his " Traite de Physique," at Part III. chap. viii. pp. 198-236 
of which he treats especially of amber and of the loadstone. The 
same passages can be seen at Vol. II. part iii. chap. viii. pp. 163, 
etc., of Rohault 's " System of Natural Philosophy," published in 
London during the year 1723, and at the same chapter, pp. 388, etc., 
of " Jacobi Rohaulti Physica," Londini, 1718. 

The latter is the last and best edition of the well-known classical 
translation, originally made in 1697, by Dr. Samuel Clarke, who 
was the friend of Sir Isaac Newton and chaplain to Bishop Moore, 
of Norwich. Through this work Clarke introduced very many 
critical notes exposing the fallacies of the Cartesian system. The 
" Physica " passed through four editions as the Cambridge University 
textbook before it was made to give way to the treatises of Newton. 

A.D. 1672. Sturm (John Christopher), a very able German 
mathematician, who was for thirty-four years professor of natural 
philosophy at the University of Altdorf (Franconia), and who, after 
vainly attempting to satisfactorily unite the Aristotelian and Carte- 
sian doctrines finally adopted the Baconian philosophy, establishes 
the " Collegium Curiosum " on the plan of the celebrated Italian 
" Accademia del Cimento," alluded to under the A.D. 1609 date. 

The society was founded for the purpose of studying, repeating 
and even modifying the most notable philosophical experiments of 


the day, such as those made by Von Guericke, Boyle, Hooke and 
others, and its proceedings were published in 1676 and 1685 under 
the title of " Collegium Experimentale sive Curiosum, etc." 

A.D. 1673. Hevelius Hevel Hovel -Hovelke (Joannes), an 
eminent Polish astronomer, member of the English Royal Society, 
and a great friend more particularly of le Pere M. Mersenne, of 
Gassendi and of Kircher, publishes during 1673 the first part of 
his great work " Machina Ccelestis "dedicated to Louis XIV 
the entire second part of which, issued in 1679, was destroyed by 
fire with the exception of seven copies. This explains its extreme 
scarcity. It was this work which led to the public controversy 
between Hevelius and Dr. Hooke who published, in London, during 
1674 his " Animad. in Mach. Celest. Hevelii." 

It is said that, next to John Flamsteed, Hevelius was the most 
accurate observer of the heavens in his day (" The Reliquary," 
London, Vol. XIV. pp. 149-159 and Vol. XV. pp. 34-38; " Journal 
des Savants " for March, June and November 1836). He had 
already published " De Variatione acus magnetics " (Opusc. Act. 
Erudit. Lips., Vol. I. p. 103), also a report of the variations of the 
magnetical needle during 1670, which can be found in the Phil. 
Trans., Vol. V. for 1670, p. 2059, or in Hut ton's abridgments, 
London, 1809, Vol. I. p. 514. 

REFKUENCKS. Laroussc, "Diet.," Vol. IX. pp. 266-267; " Biog. 
(ien.," Vol. XXV. pp. 285-2(>4; Delambrc, " Hist, de I'Astron. Mod.," 
Vol. II. pp. 434484; Weidlcr, " Hist. Astron.," p. ^85; " Mom. Roy. 
Soc.," 1739, Vol. I. p. 274. 

A.D. 1675. Boyle (Robert), Irish natural philosopher and 
chemist, seventh son of Richard Boyle, Earl of Cork, and one of the 
first members of what he calls the " Invisible " or " Philosophical " 
College, which has since become the Royal Society, 1 gives, in his 
" Philosophical Works," the result of his many experiments upon 
magnetism and electricity. 

John Evelyn in his letter to Mr. Wotton, March 30, 1695 
(" Memoirs, Diary and Correspondence/' by Win. Bray, London, 
p. 716), says of Boyle : " It must be confessed that he had a rmir- 
vailous sagacity in finding out many usefull and noble experiments. 
Never did stubborn matter come under his inquisition but he ex- 
torted a confession of all that lay in her most intimate recesses ; and 

1 " The meetings, from which the Royal Society originated, commenced 
about the year 1645, a number of persons having then begun to assemble for 
the consideration of all subjects connected with experimental inquiries; all 
questions of theology and policy being expressly precluded " (Dr. Geo. Miller, 
from Harris's " Life of Charles II," Vol. I. p. 7, London, 1766). 


what he discover'd he as faithfully registered, and frankly com- 
municated. ..." 

Prof. Tyndall remarks (" Lecture," February 4, 1875) : " The 
tendency to physical theory showed itself in Boyle. He imagined 
that the electrified body threw out a glutinous or unctuous effluvium, 
which laid hold of small bodies, and, in its return to the source from 
which it emanated, carried them along with it." 

A few of his many characteristic remarks and observations are, 
however, best given in his own words, as extracted from the 
" Philosophical Works " above alluded to : 

" The invention of the mariner's needle, which giveth the 
direction, is no less benefit for navigation than the invention of the 
sails, which give the motion " (London, 1738, Vol. I. p. 62). 

" I, with a certain body (rough diamond), not bigger than a pea, 
but very vigorously attractive, moved a steel needle, freely poised, 
about three minutes after I had left off rubbing it " (Vol. I. p. 508). 
Speaking elsewhere of his experiments with diamonds, he says : 
" But when I came to apply it (the loadstone) to one more, which 
look'd somewhat duller than almost any of the rest, I found that it 
had in it particles enough of an iron nature to make it a magnet ical 
body and observed without surprise that not only it would sutler 
itself to be taken up by the strongest pole of the loadstone, but when 
the pole was offer'd within a convenient distance it would readily 
leap through the air to fasten itself to it." 

" I removed a piece of amber in the sunbeams till they had made 
it moderately hot and then found it would attract those light bodies 
it would not stir before " (Vol. I. p. 400, and Vol. III. p. 52). 

" Whether from such experiments one may argue that it is but, 
as it were, by accident that amber attracts another body, and not 
this the amber; and whether these ought to make us question, if 
electrics may, with so much propriety, as has been generally supposed, 
be said to attract, are doubts, that my design does not oblige me to 
examine " (Vol. IV. p. 350). 

REFERENCES. John Evelyn's " Diary," Letter to Mr. Wotton, 
March 30, 1696; Libes' " Histoire Phil, du Progres de la Physique," 
Paris, 1810; Boyle's " Mechanical Origine or Production of Electricity," 
1675; Birch, " Life of Hon. R. Boyle," 1743-1744; Secondat's " His- 
toire d'Electricite " (Observations physiques), 1750, p. 141 ; Whewell, 
" Hist, of Ind. Sciences," 1859, Vol. 1. pp. 395, 396. Priestley's " History 
of Electricity," 1775, pp. 5-8; M. Reael, " Observ. a. d. Magnectsteen," 
1651, alluded to at note, p. 486, Vol. I. of Van Swinden's 1784 " Recueil," 
etc.; Van Swinden, Vol. II. pp. 353, 359-361; " Biblioth. Britan." 
(Authors), Robt. Watt, Edinburgh, 1824, Vol. I. pp. 142-3; Aikin's 
" G. Biography," and Martin's " Biog. Philosophical' in " General Biog. 
Diet.," by John Gorton, London, 1833, Vol. I; Phil. Trans., Vol. VIII 
for 1673, p. 6101 and Hutton's abridg., Vol. II. p. 90; Boyle, London, 
1673, "Essays of the . . . Effluviums" (Subtility), pp. 38-42, 52-53; 


(Efficacy) pp. 18, 19, 32, 33; (Determinate Nature) pp. 21, 57; "An 
Kssay ... of Gems/' London, 1672, pp. 108-129; Ch. W. Moulton, 
" Library of Literary Criticism/' Vol. II. pp. 416-420; " Critical Diet. 

of Engl. Lit./' S. Austin Allibone, Philad., 1888, Vol. I. pp. 232-233; 
" Essays in Historical Chemistry/ "T. E. Thorpe, London, 1894, pp. 1-27; 
Eighth " Britannica," V. p. 259 for notes of Boerhaave, also the 
"Britannica" ist Dissertation, p. 47, and 4th Dissertation p. 597; 
" History and Heroes of the Art of Medicine/' J. Rutherfurd Russell, 
London, 1861, pp. 233-246. 

Consult also Boyle's " New Exper. Physico-Mechanical," etc., in 
which the i6th Exp. is " concerning the operation of the loadstone "; 
Boyle's " A Continuation of New Exp./' etc., in which the 3ist Exp. is 
" about the attractive virtue of the loadstone in an exhausted receiver," 
and in which are " Notes, etc., about the atmospheres of consistent 
bodies," etc., as well as " Observations about the exciting of the electricity 
of bodies," and concerning the electrical emanations and effluviums. 
Boyle's " Tracts Containing Some Suspicions Concerning some Occult 
Qualities of the Air ; with an Appendix Touching Celestial Magnets," etc. 
His " Phil. Works," London, 17.44, Vol. III. pp. 65, 67 and 70, 647, etc., 
give " Experiments and Notes about the Mechanical Origin or Production 
of Electricity." 

Eor full accounts of the Royal Society, alluded to above, see the 
histories written by Thomas Sprat (1667), by Thomas Birch (1756), by 
Thomas Thomson (1812), and by Chas. Hie hard Weld (1847-1848). 

A.D. 1675. Picard (Jean), eminent astronomer, who succeeded 
Gassendi (A.D. 1632) as professor of astronomy at the College de 
France, is the lirst to observe electric light in vacuo. According to 
Tyndall ("Lessons in Electricity," p. 88) it was while carrying a 
barometer from the Observatory to the Porte Saint-Michel in Paris 
that he noticed light in the vacuous portion. Sebastien and 
Cassini observed it afterwards in other barometers (see Tyndall's 
" Lecture V." p. 91, for Priestley's description of the electric light 
in vacua). 

It was this same scientist who had already given, in his " Mesure 
de la Terre," 1671, Article IV, the description of the measurement of 
a degree of latitude made with instruments of his own manufacture. 

REFERENCES. Humboldt, "Cosmos," 1859, Vol. V. pp. 23, 24; 
Larousse, "Diet.," Vol. XII. p. 937; "Phil. Hist, and Mem. of the 
Roy. Acad. at Paris," London, 1742, Vol. I. pp. 208221. 

A.D. 1675. Newton (Sir Isaac), prominent English mathemati- 
cian and natural philosopher, of whom Macaulay says that " in no 
other mind have the demonstrative faculty and the inductive 
faculty coexisted in such supreme excellence and perfect harmony," 
communicates to the Royal Society his discovery that excited glass 
will attract any light bodies even to the surface opposite to that 
upon which it has been rubbed. This was successfully demonstrated 
by the Society, January 31, 1676. 

He improved the electric machine by substituting a glass globe 
for the globe of sulphur made use of by both Von Guericke and Boyle, 
the rubbers in every case being the hands of the operator. 


He appears to have somewhat anticipated Franklin's great 
discovery, judging by the following letter he addressed, December 15, 
1716, to the Rev. Dr. Law, in Suffolk : 

" Dear Doctor/' it begins, " He that in ye mine of knowledge 
deepest diggeth, hath, like every other miner ye least breathing 
time, and must sometimes at least come to terr; alt (terra alta) 
for air. In one of these respiratory intervals I now sit doune to 
write to you, my friend. You ask me how, with so much study, I 
manage to retene my health. Ah, my dear doctor, you have a 
better opinion of your lazy friend than he hath himself. Morpheus 
is my best companion ; without eight or nine hours of him ye corre- 
spondent is not worth one Scavenger's peruke. My practizes did at 
ye first hurt my stomach, but now I eat heartily enow, as y' will see 
when I come down beside you. I have been much amused by ye 
singular (pevopeva resulting from bringing a needle into contact with 
a piece of amber or resin fricated on silke clothe. Ye flame putteth 
me in mind of sheet lightning on a small how very small scale. 
But I shall in my epistles abjure philosophy, whereof when I come 
down to Sakly I'll give you enow. I begin to scrawl at five mins. 
from nine of ye elk, and have in writing consumed ten mins. My 
Lord Somerset is announced." 

^Ether, according to Sir Isaac Newton, is a thin subtile matter 
much finer and rarer than air. Sometimes, it is termed by him, a 
subtil spirit, as in the latter part of his " Principia," and sometimes 
a subtil aetherial medium, as in his " Optics," By many it is sup- 
posed to pervade all space, also the interior of solid bodies, and to 
be the medium of the transmission of light and heat. The aether 
of Descartes was his mater ia subtilis or his First Element : by 
which he understood a " most subtil matter very swiftly agitated, 
fluid, and keeps to no certain figure, but which suits itself to the 
figure of those bodies that are about it. His Second Element con- 
sists of small Globules ; that is, bodies exactly round and very 
solid, which do not only, like the First Element, fill up the pores of 
bodies but also constitute the purest substance of the ^Ether and 
Heaven" (Blome's translation of Descartes' " Philosophy," p. 101; 
R. Lovett, " The Subtil Medium Prov'd " ; Phil. Mag., Vol. XVIII. 

P- 155). 

During the years 1686 and 1687 Newton composed his " Prin- 
cipia," a work which Lagrange pronounced " la plus haute produc- 
tion de 1'esprit humain " : " the greatest work on science ever pro- 
duced " (Sir Robt. Ball), and " which will be memorable not only 
in the annals of one science or of one country, but which will form 


an epoch in the history of the world." This was published at 
Halley's expense. As Brewster says (1686, Chap. XII) : " It is 
to Halley alone that science owes this debt of gratitude. It was he 
who tracked Newton to his college, who drew from him his great 
discoveries, and who generously gave them to the world/' 

In the twenty-third proposition of the second book, fifth section, 
Newton says : " The virtue of the magnet is contracted by the 
interposition of an iron plate and is almost terminated at it, for 
bodies further off are not so much attracted by the magnet as by the 
iron plate." And in Book III. prop. vi. he thus expresses himself : 
"The magnetic attraction is not as the matter attracted; some 
bodies are attracted more by the magnet, others less ; most bodies 
not at all. The power of magnetism in one and the same body may 
be increased and diminished, and is sometimes far stronger for the 
quantity of matter than the power of gravity; and in receding 
from the magnet decreases, not in the duplicate, but almost in the 
triplicate proportion of the distance, as nearly as I could judge from 
some rude observations." 

Newton is said to have carried in his ring a magnet weighing 
but three grains, which could raise 746 grains, or nearly 250 times 
its own weight. This magnet naturally excited much admiration, 
but is greatly surpassed in power by that formerly belonging to Sir 
John Leslie, and now in the Physical Collection at Edinburgh, 
weighing three and one-half grains, and having a carrying power of 
1560 grains. 

REFERENCES. Brcwsler's " Life of Sir I. Newton," pp. 307, 308; 
" Diet, of Nat. Biog.," Vol. XL. pp. 370-393 ; Cb. W. Moulton, " Library 
of Literary Criticism," Vol. II. pp. 710-726; " Bibl. Britan." (Authors), 
Robt. Watt, Edinburgh, 1824, Vol. 11., p. 701 ; Harris, " Magnetism," 
Vol. 111. p. ii ; Ninth " Britannica," Vol. XV. p. 274 ; WhcvvclJ, " Hist, 
of the Ind. Sciences," 1858, Vol. 1. pp. 385-488; the interesting note 
at foot of p. 083 of the Fourth Dissertation in the " Encyclopaedia 
Britannica"; " Muspratt's Chemistry," Vol. II. p. 255; the English 
"Chemical News" for November 1867, and January 1808, reproducing 
Sir David Brewster's letters to the London " Athenaeum " and London 
" Times," likewise Dr. Crompton's paper read before the Manchester 
Literary and Philosophical Society in October 1866; Phil. Trans., 
Vol. LXIV. Part I for 1774, p. 153: "Remarks of John Winlhrop 
upon . . . Castillione's Life of Sir Isaac Newton"; Dr. Geo. Miller, 
"Hist. Phil. 111.," London, 1849, Vol. III. pp. 414-415; " Newton, sa vie 
et ses ceuvres " in "Cosmos," September 27, 1890 to December 13, 
1890; " Journal des Savants " for April, May and June 1832 ; for April 
1846, March, April, May, June, July and August 1852, October, Novem- 
ber 1855; Houzeau et Lancaster, " Bibl. Gen.," Vol. II, 1882, pp. 213- 
214, 1586; " Hist, de la Philosophic," par Chas. de Rgmusat, Paris, 1878, 
Vol. II. chap. xii. pp. 202-222. 

A.D. 1676. Ha ward, master of several sailing vessels, and a 
man of good credit (Phil. Trans., Vol. XL No. 127, p. 647, of July 18, 
1676), states that " being on board of the ship Aibernarle, July 24, 


1641 ... in latitude of Bermuda . . . after a terrible clap of 
thunder . . . it was found that the compass card was turned around, 
the N. and S. points having changed positions and, though Mr. 
Grofton brought with his finger the flower-de-lys to point directly 
N., it would immediately, as soon as at liberty, return to this new 
unusual posture, and upon examination he found every compass 
(three) in the ship of the same humour; which ... he could 
impute to nothing else but the operation of the lightning or thunder 
mentioned." The above is also alluded to at p. 33 of Vol. III. of 
Boyle's " Phil. Works," London, 1738, with this addition : " One of 
the compasses, pointing West, was brought to New England, where, 
the glass being broke and the air gaining entrance, it lost its virtue. 
But one of the others is in that country possessed by Mr. Encrease 
Mather, the North point of the needle remaining South to this day." 

A.D. 1677. At p. 14 of an exceedingly curious publication 
entitled " A Rich Cabinet with a Variety of Inventions," etc., 
written by J. W. (i. e. John White, of London), who calls himself 
" a lover of artificial conclusions," will be found an article on 
" Divers rare, conceited motions performed by a magnet or load- 

A.D. 1678. Redi (Francesco), well-known Italian scientist, 
physician to the Grand Duke Ferdinand II, publishes his " Experi- 
menta circa res diversas Naturales," wherein he is iirst to communi- 
cate the fact that the shock of the raia torpedo can be transmitted 
to the fisherman through the line and rod connecting him with the 

REFERENCES. Leithead, "Electricity," Chap. XII; the Fircnzc. 
1671 cd. of Kedi's " Espericnze," etc., pp. 47-54, Phil. Trans, for 1673, 
Vol. VIII. p. 6003; Set. Am. Supp. t No. 457, pp. 7300-730.2; Matteucci, 
" Rccherches," 1837 an( l 1867; Kschinardi (F. della Compagnia di (iesii), 
" Lettera al S. Francesco Redi," Roma, 1681, wherein are detailed many 
curious experiments, including some treating of the magnetic needle by 
which agency are foretold sudden attacks of earthquakes, etc. etc. 

A.D. 1679. Maxwell (William) Guillelmo Maxvollo native of 
Scotland, author of " Medicina Magnetica," offers to prove to various 
medical faculties that, with certain magnetic means at his disposal, 
he could cure any of the diseases abandoned by them as incurable 
(Blavatsky, " Isis," Vol. I. p. 215). 

REFERENCE. J. H. Van Swinden, " Recucil de Memoires," etc., 
La Haye, 1784, Vol. II. p. 367. 

A.D. 1683. Arrais (Edoardo Madeira), who had been physician 
to JoS.0 John IV, the first Portuguese king of the house of 


Braganza, is the author of this much-delayed edition of a book 
entitled " Arbor Vitae, or a physical account of the Tree of Life 
in the Garden of Eden." It treats of occult qualities under the 
headings of " Doubts/' of which latter there are eight separate 
ones which constitute as many different chapters, from which the 
following extracts will prove interesting : 

" Doubt " 5, p. 45. " Doth not the fish called Torpedo render the 
fishes that swim over it immovable, and stupefy the fisher's 
arm with its virtue diffused along his spear ? " 

" Doubt " 5, p. 46. " ... as also there are divers sorts of fishes 
that bring numness, as our Torpedo doth." 

" Doubt " 5, p. 49. " And those that travail the coasts of Brasile 
make mention of another fish, which causeth numness as our 
Torpedo doth : whence it becomes sufficiently manifest that 
there are many kinds of Torpedoes to be found. But this kind 
lives especially in the river Itapecuro, in the country of the 
Maragnani, and it is called Per ache, or, as Caspar Barlaeus 
observed, Pitraquam, among those Barbarians. In shape and 
greatness it resembles a kind of lamprey (or Mursena) ; they 
use to kill it by striking it with staves ; but the arm of him that 
strikes and then his whole body is stupefied, and shakes 
presently. Of which thing, Frier Christopher Severineus, 
Bishop elect of Angola is my ocular witness. . . ." 

" Doubt " 7, p. 93. " For it is evident from experience that iron 
is so indisposed by some qualities that it cannot be moved by 
the magnet. That fishes swimming over the Torpedo, enclosed 
in the mud or sand for the purpose, when they come to the 
places whereto the virtue of the Torpedo is extended can stir 
no further ; by which art she catches and eats them, as Aristotle 
relates (6 ' de Hist. Animal./ cap. 10; and 9 ' de Hist./ 
cap. 37)." 

" Doubt " 7, p. 94. " For if amber be dulled by moisture, its virtue 
cannot produce motion in straws. If the virtue of the Torpedo 
reach the fishes swimming over her, or the fisher's arm their 
motive power cannot produce motion." 

" Doubt " 7, p. 96. " And for this cause, the virtue of the magnet 
can produce motion in iron, not in other bodies, because it 
finds in it Dispositions necessary on the part of the agent which, 
being present, it can operate; not in other things. And, for 
the same reason, amber moves straws, not iron nor stones." 

The preface to the " Arbor Vitae . . ." is written by Richard 
Browne, M.L. Coll. Mcd., London, who translated out of Latin " The 


Cure of Old Age," by Roger Bacon, wherein he gives quite a good 
account of the latter's life and writings, and from which we extract 
but one passage likely here to be of some little interest, viz. at 
p. 155, regarding the component parts of a medicine : " By Amber 
here our author intends Amber Gryse (a bituminous body found 
floating on the sea) : For he calls it Ambra and not Succinum (which 
is solid Amber). Besides, Succinum was never reckoned a spice 
as Amber is here. And though both Ambra and Succinum be 
great restorers of the animal spirits, yet the former is more 

The " Biographic Generate," Vol. III. p. 348, says that Duarte 
Madeyra Arracss, who died at Lisbon in 1652, was the author also 
of " Apologia," 1638, of " Methodo/' 1642, and of " Novse Philoso- 
phise/' 1650. 

A.D. 1683. Halley (Edmund), LL.D., who became English 
astronomer royal, makes known his theory of four magnetic poles 
and of the periodical movement of the magnetic line without de- 
clination. He states that the earth's magnetism is caused by four 
poles of attraction, two of them being in each hemisphere near each 
pole of the earth. By the word pole he means a point where the 
total magnetic force is a maximum, or, as he himself styles it, " a 
point of greatest attraction" (Walker, " Magnetism," p. 317, etc.). 

One of the magnetic poles he places near the meridian of Land's 
End, not above 7 degrees from the North Pole, the other being 
about 15 degrees from the North Pole in the meridian of California, 
while the two south magnetic poles are placed respectively about 
16 and about 20 degrees from the South Pole of the earth, and 95 
degrees west, 120 degrees east of London. 

In order to test Halley 's theory, the English Government per- 
mitted him to make three voyages in the Atlantic Ocean (1698, 
1699, 1702), in vessels of which he had the command as post-captain. 
Humboldt states that these were the first expeditions equipped by 
any government for the establishment of a great scientific object 
that of observing one of the elements of terrestrial force on which 
the safety of navigators is especially dependent. 

The result of these voyages was the construction of the first 
accurate Magnetic Chart, whereon the points at which navigators 
have found an equal amount of variation were connected together 
by curved lines. This was the model of all charts of a similar nature 
since constructed. Halley remarked upon its completion : " The 
nice determination of the variation, and several other particulars 
in the magnetic system, is reserved for a remote posterity. All that 
we can hope to do is to leave behind us observations that may be 


confided in, and to propose hypotheses which after-ages may 
examine, amend or refute.'' 

See copy of his chart in Vol. I. No. I of " Terrestrial Magnetism/' 
also in Musschenbroek's " Essais de Physique," or, preferably, 
in Bouguer's " Traite de Navigation," where the lines for 1700 are 
in red ink, while those for 1744 are traced in black, thus readily 
indicating the changes in the declination. 

REFERENCES. Cavallo, " Magnetism," and " Nat. or Exp. Phil.," 
Vol. II. p. 273; Lloyd, "Treatise on Magnetism," 1874, p. 102; Sci. 
Am, Suppl,, No. 224, pp. 3570, 3571 ; Whewell, " Hist, of the Inductive 
Sciences," 1859, Vol. 1. pp. 396-8, 435-7, 450, 451, 480, 481, and Vol. II. 
p. 225; Giambattista Scarella, " De Magncte," 1759, Vol. II; also 
G. Casali, " Sopra la Grandinc," etc., 1767; " The Phil. Hist, and Mem. 
of the Roy. Ac. of Sciences at Paris," London, 1742, Vol. L p. 245 ; Vol. II. 
pp. 240-244, 270, 349; "Magnetic Results of Halley's Expedition 
(1698-1700)" in "Terrestrial Magnetism," September 1913, pp. 113- 
132; Houzeau et Lancaster, " Bibl. Gen.," Vol. II. pp. 156-7; Dr. G. 
Hcllmann " Ncudrucke von schriften," Nos. 4 and 8; LIumboldt, 
"Cosmos," 1859, Vol. V. pp. 59-60; John Wallis's letters to Halley, 
London (Phtl. Trans, for 1702-1703), p. 106; Phil. Trans, for 1667, 
1683, 1692; " Memoirs of the Roy. Soc.," 1739, Vol. 11. p. 195; " A 
Bibliography of Dr. Edmund Halley," by Alex. J. Rudolph, in the 
" Bulletin of Bibliography " for July 1905 ; " Old and New Astronomy," 
by Richard A. Proctor, 1892, pp. 37-38; 'Phil. Trans. Vol. XIII for 1683, 
No. 148, p. 208; Vol. XVII. p. 563;' Vol. XX1I1. p. 1106; Vol. XXIX. 
p. 165; Vol. XLIL p. 155; Vol. XLVIII. p. 239, also the following 
abridgments : Hulton, Vol. II. p. 624 ; Vol. VI, pp. 99, 112 ; J. Lowthorp, 
Vol. II. p. 285; Reid and Gray, Vol. VI. p. 177; Eamcs and Martyn, 
Vol. VI. pp. 28, 286; Baddam, 1745, Vol. II. pp. 195-202; Vol. HI. 
pp. 25-32. 


Dr. Halley was the first to give (Phil. Trans., No. 347) a distinct 
history of this phenomenon, which has certainly an electric as well 
as magnetic origin, and to which Gassendi originally gave the name 
it now bears, as has been stated at A.D. 1632. 

According to Dr. Lardner (" Lectures," Vol. I. p. 137), Prof. 
Eberhart, of Halle, and Paul Frisi, of Pisa, first proposed an ex- 
planation of the aurora founded upon the following : I. Electricity 
transmitted through rarefied air exhibits a luminous appearance, 
precisely similar to that of the aurora borealis. 2. The strata of 
atmospheric air become rarefied as their altitude above the surface 
of the earth is increased, a theory which has since been counten- 
anced by many scientists. It has been observed, notably by Dalton, 
of Manchester, that the primitive beams of the aurora are constantly 
in a direction parallel to that of the dipping needle, and that the 
latter appears most affected when the aurora is the brightest. 
Arago noticed that the changes of inclination amounted, upon one 
occasion to 7' or 8'. The discovery that the magnetic needle was 


agitated during the presence of an aurora has been ascribed to 
Wargentin (Am. Journal Sc., Vol. XXX. p. 227), though it is claimed 
by the friends of Olav Hiorter (see A.D. 1740), that it was independ- 
ently ascertained by the latter during the year 1741. 

The well-known Swiss chemist Auguste Arthur De la Rive has 
made many important observations upon the electric character of 
the aurora, the experiments carried on by him in the mountains 
of Finland being thus described : " We surrounded the peak of a 
mountain with copper wire, pointed at intervals with tin nibs. 
We next charged the wire with electricity, and nearly every night 
during our stay produced a yellowish white light on the tin points, 
in which the spectroscope analysis revealed the greenish yellow 
rays so characteristic of the aurora borealis. On the peak of 
Pietarintumturi we were especially successful, an auroral ray 
making its appearance directly over and about 150 yards above 
the copper coil." 

A complete list of all auroras appearing prior to 1754 is to be 
found in Jean Jacques d' Or tons de Mairan's, Paris, 1731, " Trait e 
Physique de 1'Aurore Boreale," and a catalogue of aurora observed, 
1800-1877, has been made up by M. Zenger (Set. Am. Supp., 
p. 10915). One of the most interesting displays is known as the 
purple aurora, alluded to in the Annals of Clan-mac-noise as having 
appeared A.D. 688 (Biot " Note sur la direction/' etc., Comptes 
Rendus, Tome XIX for 1844, p. 822). Between September 19, 
1838, and April 8, 1839, Lottin, Bravais, Lilliehook and Siljestrom 
observed 160 auroras at Bossekop (69 58' N. lat.) in Finmark and 
at Jupvig (70 6' N. lat.) ; they were most frequent during the period 
the sun remained below the horizon, that is, from November 17 to 
January 25. During this night of 70 times 24 hours there were 
64 auroras visible (Comptes Rendus, Tome X. p. 289; Martin, 
" Meteorologie," 1843, p. 453; Arge hinder, in the " Vortriigen geh. 
in der Konigsberg Gesellschaft," Bd. I. s. 259). 

A Finnish physicist, named S. Lcustrom, who had been attached 
to the Nordcnskjold Polar Expedition of 1868, visited Lapland in 
1871, and, after a series of important observations, constructed an 
apparatus that permitted him to " artificially reproduce the light 
of the aurora." The intensity of this light is so great at times that 
Lowenorn perceived the coruscations in bright sunshine on the 
29th of January, 1786, and Parry saw the aurora throughout the 
day during the voyage of 1821-1823. 

The height of the aurora has been variously estimated, but it 
is seldom found to be less than forty-five miles above the surface of 
the earth. Father Boscovich estimated at 825 miles the height of 
the one observed by the Marquis of Poleni on the i6th of December, 


1737. The extent of the aurora, according to Dalton, has been 
known to cover an area of 7000 or 8000 square miles. 

REFERENCES. "Mem. de Turin," An. 1784-5, Vol. I. part ii. 
pp. 328, 338; Young, "Lectures," Vol. I. pp. 687, 716; Herschel, 
" Prelim. Discourse," pp. 93, 329, 330; Phil. Trans., 1753, p. 350; 
Mailer's " Kosmischcn Physik " ; Noad, "Manual," pp. 225-237; also 
all the references at pp. 187-196, Vol. I of Humboldt's " Cosmos," 
Bonn, London, 1849, as well as in Ronalds' "Catalogue," pp. 23-24; 
Mairan, at Vol. X. p. 961, " Diet. Univ.," and Vol. XXVI. p. 161, of 
the " Biog. Univcrselle " ; Trans. Cambridge Phil. Soc., Vol. I; " Isis 
Unveiled," Vol. I. pp. 417, 418. 

See likewise the " Pharsalia " of Marcus Annaeus Lucanus, trans- 
lated by J. Krais, I. pp. 518-527; Plutarchus, " De facie in orbe luna?," 
cap. -26; the "Annals"' of Cains Cornelius Tacitus, Germania, XLV. 
isted., Venice, 1470; " Das Polarlicht," H. Fritz, Leipzig, 1881, pp. 4-6, 
332; Mairan's " Traite" Physique," etc., 1731, pp. 179-181; Gregoirc 
du Tour, Lumiere Electnque, 1882, Vol. VII. p. 389; Elias Loomis, 
" The Aurora Borcalis," etc., p. 220 of the Reports of Smiths. Inst., 
1865; A. M. Mayer, " Observations," etc., Amer. Jour, of Sc., February 
1871 ; " A copy of the Catalogue of Aurorae Boreales observed in Norway 
from the earliest times to June 1878" (" Nature," December 4, 1902, 
p. 112); "La cause de Taurorc boreale," Claudius Arrhenius, in the 
Revue Generale des Sciences for January 30, 1902, pp. 65-76 ; " Les Annexes 
MeHeores," in " Le Cosmos," Paris, May 25, 1889, etc.; "Terrestrial 
Magnetism," March 1898, p. 7 for Chronological Summary of Authors 
re Aurora; Rev. Jas. Farquharson in "Abstracts of Sc. Papers Roy. 
Soc.," Vol. II. p. 391; Wm. Dobbie, Phil. Mag., Vol. LXI for 1823, 
p. 252 ; W. Derham, for description of Auroras (in Phil. Trans, for 
1728', p. 453); see, for Boscovitch, " Journal des Savants," February 
1864; "journal des Savants," for August 1820; C. H. Wilkinson, 
"Elements," 1804; Vol. II. p. 279 and note; Calogera's " Raccolta," 
XVII. 47, Proc. of the Royal Soc. of Edinburgh for the observations of 
J. A. Brown and others on the aurora; F. C. Meyer, De luce boreali, 
1726; Poggcndorff, I. 135; Sturgeon, " Sc. Res." 4th Sec. p. 489; 
Phil. Trans., Vol. XXXVIII. p. 243; Vol. XLVL p. 499: F. Zollner's 
paper in " L. E. and D. Philos. Mag.," for May and July, 1872; C. A. 
Young, Amer. Jour, of Sc., Vol. ill., 3rd s., p. 69; Baron Karl Von 
Reichcnbach's " Physico-Physiological Researches," trans, of Dr. John 
Ashburner, London, 1851, pp. 5-36, also pp. 445, etc., of the translation 
of Dr. W. Gregory, London, 1850; J. II. Van Swinden, " Recueil de 
M&noircs," etc., La Have, 1784, Vol. III. p. 187, etc.; J. E. B. Wicde- 
burg, " Beobachtungen und Math.," etc., 1771 ; G. W. Krafft, " Observ. 
Meteor," etc., in Novi Com. Acad. Pelrop., Vol. V. p. 400; Giuseppe 
Toaldo, " Descrizione," etc., in Saggj . . . Accad. di Padova, Vol. I. 
p. 178; Louis Cotte, "Table of Aurora*, Observed . . . 1768-1779," 
Paris, 1783; Journal de Physique for 1775; Recueil de Mem. de I' Acad. 
des Sciences for 1769; A. S. Conti, " Rifflessioni sull* Aurora Boreale." l 

For Auguste Arthur De la Rive, consult " Bibl. Britan.," Vol. XV f, 
N.S., 1821, p. 201, likewise the " Annalcs de Chimie et de Physique," Phil. 
Mag. t Phil. Trans., Comptes Rendus, more especially, as well as the 
" Bibl. Univ." and the " Mem. de la Soc. de Geneve," at which latter 
place he was born in 1801. 

For Jean Jacques d'Ortons de Mairan, consult " Me'm. de Paris " 
for the years 1726, 1731-1734, 1747, 1751, also abridgments of the Phil. 

1 In the entry at p. 223, Part I of Libri's " Catal." for 1861 it is said that, 
in the first volume of the works of A. S. Conti, who was the intimate friend of 
Sir Isaac Newton, we find for the first time mention of the fact that the aurora 
is supposed to be an electrical phenomenon. 


Trans, by Hutton, Vol. VII. p. 637, and by Baddam, 1745 ed., Vol. IX. 
pp. 490-497- 

For W. Derham (1657-1735) consult also " Nouv. Biog. Gen." (Hoefer), 
Vol. XIII. p. 712; the Phil. Trans, unabridged, Vol. XXIV. for 1704- 
1705, pp. 2136-2138; Vol. XXXVI. pp. 137, 204, also the following 
abridgments : Hutton, Vol. V. pp. 258-263; Hy. Jones, Vol. IV. 
part ii. pp. 290-291 ; Baddam, Vol. IV. pp. 473-478. In the last-named 
volume is thus given an account of Mr. Derham's experiments : " He 
shows (Phil. Trans., No. 303, p. 2136) that, having consulted what 
others had writ of magnets, he finds in Grimaldi's De Lumine et colore 
that both he and M. De la Hire (Phil. Trans., No. 188) had hit upon the 
same discovery before him." Mr. Derham also alludes, more particularly, 
to the observations of Ridley, Barlow and Dr. Gilbert. 

For Claudius Claes Arrhenius (1627-1694) Swedish scientist, 
professor at the Upsal University, consult " La Grande Encycl.," 
Vol. HI. p. 1107; " Diet. Biog. Suedois," Vol. XXII. pp. 385-389. 

For John Wallis, the celebrated English mathematician (1616-1703), 
in addition to the above-named Phil. Trans., Vol. XXII I for 1702-1703, 
p. 1106, consult Phil. Trans., Vol. XII for 1677, No. 135, pp. 863-866 
(meteors), also the abridged editions as follows : Hutton, Vol. IV. 
pp. 196, 639, 655; Hy. Jones, Vol. IV. part ii. p. 286; Baddam, 
London, 1739, Vol. III. p. 228 and Vol. IV. pp. 100-104 (manner's 
compass); " Nouv. Biog. Gen." (Hoefer), Vol. XLVI. p. 530. 


The earliest account of this phenomenon was given by Don 
Antonio de Ulloa, as will be seen under date A.D. 1735-1746. 

RKFERKNCES. VV. L. Krafft, " Observation," etc., in Acta Acad. 
Petropol. for 1778, Part I. Hist., p. 45; Phil. Trans., XLI. pp. 840, 843; 
XLVI. pp. 319, 345; Chr. Hansteen, " On the Polar Lights," London, 


This phenomenon, from its occasional faint resemblance to and 
association with the auroras, would seem to deserve mention here, 
though none of the conjectures formed, more particularly by Cassini, 
Euler, Mairan, Kepler, Laplace, Fatio de Duiller, Schubert, Poisson, 
Olmsted, Biot, Herschel, Delambre, Olbers or Sir Wm. Thomson 
attribute to it any electric or magnetic origin. 

In the Report of the Proceedings of the Reale Istituto Lombardo, 
1876, however, appears the account of many observations confirmed 
by M. Serpieri which " demand absolutely " the conclusion that 
the zodiacal light "is an electrical aurora preceding and following 
the sun round the earth." 

Angstrom asserted that he observed the auroral line in the 
spectrum of the zodiacal light, and Lewis saw the latter during 
the aurora of May 2, 1877. Humboldt, who observed it (" Cosmos," 
1849, Vol. I. p. 126) in the Andes at an elevation of 13,000 to 15,000 
feet, as well as on " the boundless grassy plains, the Llanos of 
Venezuela, and on the seashore, beneath the ever-clear sky of 


Cumana," believes it to be caused by " a very compressed annulus 
of nebulous matter, revolving freely in space between the orbits 
of Venus and Mars/' In this connection he refers to Arago in the 
Annuairc for 1832, p. 246, and to a letter published in Comptes 
Rendus, XVI, 1843, p. 687, from which the following is extracted : 
" Several physical facts appear to indicate that, in a mechanical 
separation of matter into its smallest particles, if the mass be very 
small in relation to the surface, the electrical tension may increase 
sufficiently for the production of light and heat." 

In Chambers' " Descript. Astronomy," p. 257, the historian 
Nicephorus is credited with first calling attention to the existence 
of this phenomenon, to which Giovanni Domenico Cassini gave the 
name of Zodiacal Light, after determining its relations in space 
during the year 1683 (Mem. de I' Academic, 1730, Tome VIII. pp. 
188 arid 276), but to Childrey belongs the credit of having given 
to Europe the first explicit description of this phenomenon at p. 183 
of his 1661 " Britannia Baconica." 

KKKKKKNCKS. -Sturgeon's Annuls, etc., Vol. II. pp. 140-1/12; Prof. 
C. W. Prichett's paper in Set. Am. Supp., No. 126, p 2008, and the 
com lusions reached by Herr Gronemann (Archives Neerlandaises) in vSV;. 
Am. Supp., No. 327, p. 5221, Whcwcll, " Hist, of the Ind. Sciences," 
1859, Vol. I. p. 531, and Vol. 11. p. 609; Tyndall, " Heat as a Mode of 
Motion," 1873, pp. 57, 58, .497, 498 ; J. J r . J. Schmidt, " Das Zodiacallicht," 
.Braunschweig, 1856 ; the very interesting abstract given in " The Journal 
of the Bri\. Assoc.," Vol. XI T. No. 5, of paper read by Rev. J. T. VV. 
Claiidge, F.R.S., Jan. 9, 1902 , ITouzcau et Lancaster, " Bibl. Generale," 
Vol.11. 1 882, pp. 763-771; "Pr. Koy.Soc. of Edm.," 3; C. Wilkes, 
"Theory of Zod. Light," Philad., 1857; Phil. Trans., Vof. XXXVIII. 
p. 2.\g; " Cosmos," 1849, Vol. 1. pp. 126-134; " Anc. Mem. de Paris," 
1, VIIF and X, J. J. de Mairan, Pans, 17^3: " U- S. Japan Expedition," 
Vol. Ill, Washington, 1856. 

A.D. 1684. Hooke (Dr. Robert), English natural philosopher 
( I ^35~" I 73)> who, in 1677, had succeeded Oldenburg as Secretary to 
the Royal Society, gives the earliest well-defined plan of telegraphic 
transmission, in a paper addressed to the Royal Society " showing 
a way how to communicate one's mind at great distances ... 40, 
100, 120, etc., miles ... in as short a time almost as a man could 
write what he would have sent." His apparatus consisted of an 
elevated framework supporting an open screen, behind which were 
suspended as many wooden devices, or symbols, such as circles, 
squares, triangles, etc., as there were letters in the alphabet. In 
the daytime these devices were drawn up by a rope behind the 
screen and made visible in the open space, while during the night 
use was made of torches, lanterns or lights. 

Hooke also showed, in 1684, that iron and steel rods can be 
permanently magnetized by strongly heating them and by rapidly 


cooling them in the magnetic meridian (" Enc. Brit./' 1857, Vol. 
XIV. p. 3). 

But, what is still more singular, he had, even previous to the 
above-named date (i. e. in 1667), alluded to the possibility of tele- 
phoning, that is, communicating sound through a wire. He thus 
expresses himself : " And as glasses have highly promoted our 
seeing, so it is not improbable that there may be found many 
mechanical inventions to improve our other senses of hearing, 
smelling, tasting, touching. . . . Tis not impossible to hear a 
whisper a fur long's distance, it having been already done ; and 
perhaps the nature of the thing would not make it more impossible 
though that furlong should be ten times multiplied. And though 
some famous authors have affirmed it impossible to hear through 
the thinnest plates of Muscovy glass, I know a way by which it is 
easy to hear one speak through a wall a yard thick. It has not 
been examined how far acoustics may be improved, nor what 
other ways there may be of quickening our hearing, or conveying 
sound through other bodies than the air, for that is not the only 
medium. I can assure the reader that I have, by the help of a 
distended wire, propagated the sound to a very considerable dis- 
tance in an instant, or with as seemingly quick a motion as that 
of light, at least, incomparably swifter than that which at the same 
time was propagated through the air ; and this not only in a straight 
line, or direct, but in one bended in many angles." 

REFERENCES. Hookc's entire paper in Derham's " Phil. Exp. and 
Obs." for 1726, pp. 142-150; Phil. Trans, for 1684; for his observations 
on atmospheric electricity consult Hoiizcau et Lancaster, " Bibl. Gen.," 
Vol. II- p. 166; " Journal cles Savants" for April 1846; " The Post- 
humous Works of Robert Hooke," London, 1705, p. 424, "Revue 
Scicntifique," Mars 15, 1902, p. 351 ; for a complete list of all his works, 
consult Ward's " Lives of the Grcsham Professors " ; for description of his 
telegraph and reference to Amontons, etc., see Phil. Mag., Vol. I. pp. 

A.D. 1684. Sturmy's " Mariner's Magazine " for this year, of 
which a copy can be seen in the library of the British Museum, 
contains an account of the deviation of the compass and its tendency 
to give misleading directions on account of local attraction. 

REFERENCES. Chambers' Journal, Vol. III. No. 60 for Feb. 24, 
1855, p. 132, and Vol. XII. No. 300 for Oct. i, 1859, p. 246; Capt. Sam. 
Sturmy's " Magn. Virtues and Tides," in Phil. Trans. , No. 57, p. 726, 
or " Memoirs of the Roy. Soc.," Vol. I. p. 134; Phil. Trans., abridg- 
ments : by Hutton, Vol. II. p. 560, and by Lowthorp, Vol. II. p. 609; 
" Journal des Scavans " for 1683, Vol. XI. pp. 267-293. 

A.D. 1684. In the " Essayes of Natural Experiments made in 
the Accademia del Cimento " (Englished by Richard Waller), 
London, 1684, by direction of the Royal Society, there are given, 


respectively at pp. 53, 123 and 128-132, accounts of the operation 
of the magnet in vacuo, details of several magnetical experiments 
and experiments touching amber as well as other electrical bodies. 

A.D. 1686. Maimbourg (Louis), French historian, relates this 
instance of the employment of the magnet at Chap VI of the 
Rev. W. Webster's translation of his " Histoire de TArianisme " : 
" Whilst Valens (the Roman emperor) was at Antioch . . . several 
pagans of distinction, with the philosophers . . . not being able 
to bear that the empire should continue in the hands of the Chris- 
tians, consulted privately the demons ... in order to know the 
destiny of the emperof and who should be his successor. . . . For 
this purpose they made a three-footed stool . . . upon which, 
having laid a basin of divers metals, they placed the twenty-four 
letters of the alphabet around it ; then one of these philosophers, 
who was a magician . . . holding in one hand vervain and in the 
other a ring which hung at the end of a small thread, pro- 
nounced . . . conjurations . . . at which the three-footed stool turn- 
ing around and the ring moving of itself, and turning from one side 
to the other over the letters, it caused them to fall upon the table 
. . . which foretold them . . . that the Furies were waiting for 
the emperor at Mimas ; . . . after which the enchanted ring, 
turning about again over the letters in order to express the name 
of him who should succeed the emperor, formed first of all 
these capital letters, T H E O. After adding a D, to form 
T H E O D, the ring stopped, and was not seen to move any more, 
at which one of the assistants cried out . . . ' Theodorus is the 
person whom the gods appoint for our emperor ' " (" History of 
Christianity," by the Rev. Henry Hart Milman, London, 1840, 
Vol. III. p. 120). 

Maimbourg's biography is given at p. 58, Vol. IV. of the " English 

A.D. 1692. Dr. Le Lorrain de Vallemont relates, in " Descrip- 
tion de 1'Airnant," etc., which he published at Paris, that, after a 
very severe wind and rain storm during the month of October 1690, 
the new steeple of the Church of Notre Dame de Chartres was found 
to be so seriously injured as to necessitate demolition. It was then 
observed that the iron cross was covered with a heavy coating of 
rust, which latter proved to be so highly magnetic that a special 
report upon it was made in the " Journal des Sgavans " by M. de la 
Hire, December 3, 1691, at the request of Giovanni Dom. Cassini, 
and of other members of the French Royal Academy. 

REFERENCES. " Journal des S9avans," Vols. XX, 1692, pp. 357-364 
and Vol. XXXV, 1707, pp. 493-494 for additional accounts of the 


Church of N. Dame de Chartrcs by M. de la Hire and M. de Vallcmont, 
and for a review of M. de Vallemont's work, of which latter pp. 4, 30, 
66, 74, 89 to 90 merit special attention. 

A.D. 1693. Gregory (David), an eminent mathematician, who, 
in 1691, had been made Savilian Professor of Astronomy in Oxford 
mainly through the influence of Newton and Flamsteed, communi- 
cates the result of his observations on the laws of magnetic action. 

REFERENCES. Noad, " Manual of Electricity," 1859, p. 525, Phil. 
Trans., Vols. XVIII-XXV; " Biog. Generale," Voh XXI. p. 902; 
Ninth " Britannica," Vol. XI. p. 182; J. J. Fahie, " A History of El. 
Tel. to the year 1837," London, 1884, p. 24. 

A.D. 1693. In the first volume (Letter IV. pp. 25-28) of the 
" Memoirs for the Ingenious . . ." by J. de la Crosse, are given 
accounts of several " New experiments on the loadstone ; of a 
needle touch'd with it, and plac'd directly over the needle of a 
compass ; of two Mariner's Needles hang'd freely over one another, 
at several distances ; of a touch'd steel-ring. Reasons of these 
experiments. The earth magnet ical." 

In explanation of all this, M. de la Hire supposes " that the 
mass of the earth is a great loadstone, which directs the poles of 
the same name in all the loadstones and touch'd needles, towards 
the same place of the earth ; so that the two hang'd needles do but 
remove from this natural position by the particular force they 
have of driving away each other's poles of the same name ; which 
force, in a certain degree, is not sufficient to overcome the power 
of the great loadstone of the earth." 

An account of M. P. de la Hire's " new sort of a magnetical 
compass " had already appeared in the Phil. Trans, for 1686-1687, 
Vol. XVI. No. 188, p. 344. 

REFERENCES. For De la Hire, the following abridgments of the 
Phil. Trans. : Lowthorp, London, 1722, Vol. II. pp. 620-622; Baddam, 

London, 1739, Vol. IV. pp. 473-478; Hutton, London, 1809, Vol. III. 

icrs, L 
pp. 272-282 and the " Table Alptiab. . . . Aca'd". Iloyale," by M. 

p. 381; also " The Phil. Hist, and Mem. of the Roy. Acad. at Paris," 
by Martyn and Chambers, London, 1742, Vol. IT. pp. 273-277; Vol. V. 


Godin, Paris, Vol. II. p. 16 and Vol. X. pp. 164 and 734. 

A.D. 1696. Zahn (F. Joannes), prebendary of the Pr<montres 
Order at Celle near Wurtzburg and provost of the convent of 
Niederzell, celebrated for his philosophical and mathematical 
studies, publishes his highly valued " Specula physico-mathematico- 
historica-notabilium ac mirabilium sciendorum . . ." throughout 
the three folio volumes of which he treats extensively of the wonders 
of the entire universe. 

In his tabulated list of the origin and properties of all the 
different known gems and stones (Vol. II. chap. vii. p. 55), he states 


that the loadstone, first discovered at Magnesia in Lydia (Caria on 
the Maeander) is heavy, very well shaped, and of a dark colour 
verging upon blue. The marvellous properties of gems and stones 
are detailed at pp. 59-73 of the same volume, the fifth paragraph of 
('hap. VIII treating of the loadstone's many virtues and admirable 
qualities, as exemplified in the writings of Guilielmus Gilbertus, 
Nicolaus Zucchius, Nicolaus Cabseus, Athanasius Kircherus, Eusebius 
Nierembergius, Laurentius Forerus, Hieronymus Dandinus, Jacobus 
Grandamicus, Ludovicus Alcazar, Claudius Franciscus Millie t de 
Chales, as well as of many others. 

REFERENCES. Michaud, " Biog. TTniv.," Vol. XLV. p. 340; Dr. 
John Thomas, " Universal Pron. Diet./' 1886, p, 2514 ; Brunei, " Manuel 
du Libraire," Vol. V. p. 1519. 

A.D. 1700. Bernoulli (John I), son of Nicolas, the foundei of 
the celebrated family of that name, improves upon Picard's dis- 
covery of the electrical appearance of the barometer, made A.D. 1675, 
by devising a mercurial phosphorus or mercury shining in vacno 
(" Diss. Physica de Mercurio Lucente/' etc., Basel, 1719). This 
procured the favourable notice of King Frederick I, of Prussia, who 
rewarded him with a medal. John Bernoulli I (1667-1748) was 
a member of nearly every learned society of Europe and " one of 
the first mathematicians of a mathematical age." His exceedingly 
valuable memoirs, found in all the scientific transactions of the 
day, were first collected in their entirety during the year 1742, by 
Cramer, Professor of Mathematics, and published at Lausanne and 

" Is it not surprising/' remarks Prof. Robison, in his able 
article on ''Dynamics " (Eighth " Britannica/' Vol. VIII. p. 363), 
" that, twenty-five years after the publication of Newton's ' Prin- 
cipia,' a mathematician on the Continent should publish a solution 
in the Memoirs of the French Academy, and boast that he had 
given the first demonstration of it ? Yet, John Bernoulli did this 
in 1710. Is it not more remarkable that this should be precisely 
the solution given by Newton, beginning from the same theorem, 
the 4oth I., Prin., following Newton in every step and using the 
same subsidiary lines? Yet, so it is." This was five years after 
he had accepted (1705) the chair of mathematics made vacant by 
the death of his brother, James I. 


The Bernoulli family is as well known in the history of mathe- 
matics, by the distinguished services of eight of its members, as is 


the Cassini family through the successes achieved by four of its 
representatives in the development of astronomical studies. 

Daniel Bernoulli (1700-1782), second son of John I, constructed 
a dipping needle, which is described on p. 85 of the Eighth " Britan- 
nica," Vol. XIV, and with which he observed the dip to diminish 
half a degree during an earthquake in the year 1767. Before 
Daniel was twenty-four years old he had declined the Presidency 
of the Academy of Sciences at Genoa, and, at the age of twenty-five, 
was appointed Professor of Mathematics at St. Petersburg. 

John Bernoulli II (1710-1790), youngest of the three sons of 
John I, gained three prizes from the French Academy of Sciences 
for Memoirs on the Capstan, on the Propagation of Light and on 
the Magnet. 

John Bernoulli III (1744-1807), grandson of John I, took the 
degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the age of thirteen, and, when 
nineteen years old, was appointed Astronomer Royal of Berlin. 
He published several volumes of travels, in one of which he relates 
(A. L. Ternant, " Le Telegraphe," 1881, p. 32) that he saw, in the 
last-named city, an instrument constructed of five bells, with which 
all letters of the alphabet could be expressed. 

James Bernoulli I (1654-1705), brother of John I, while at 
London, was introduced into the philosophical meetings of Boyle, 
Hooke, Edward Stillingfleet and other learned and scientific men. 
He opened, in 1682, the Collegium Experimental Physico-Mcchani- 
cum for public instruction, but his lasting fame dates from the year 
1684, when the great Von Leibnitz published his treatise " De 
Gravitate Athens." Three years later, in 1687, James occupied 
the mathematical chair of the University of Basel, made vacant by 
the death of the learned Megerlin. 

REFERENCES. Whcwell, " Hist, of the Inductive Sciences," 1859, 
Vol. I. pp. 358-366, 375-380, 393, 430, and Vol. II. pp. 32-39, 42 ; 
" Hist, de i'Acad. Royalc dcs Sciences," 1700-1707; Edin. " Encycl.," 
1813, Vol. III. pp. 464-470; " Med. Library and Historical Journal," 
New York, 1903, Vol. I. pp. 270-277. 

For Bernoulli family sec " Histoire des Sc. Math, et Phys.," Maxim. 
Marie, Paris, 1888, Vols. Vil-XI; " Geschichle der Mathemathik," 
Moritz Canton, Leipzig, 1898, Vol. III. pp. 207-261 ; " Histoire G6ne*rale 
des Mathe*matiques," Chas. Bossut, Paris, 1810, Vol. II. s. 2, as 
at table, p. 512. See the family tree in " Eng. Cycl.," Vol. VI. p. 972, 
and all the Bernoullis at p. 84 of Vol. II, Houzeau et Lancaster's 
"Bibl. G6n.," 1882. 

A.D. 1700. Morgagni (Giovanni Battista), while practising 
medicine at Bologna and at Venice, uses the magnet to remove 
particles of iron which had accidentally fallen into the eyes, exactly 
in the same manner as Kirkringius and Fabricius Hildanus had 
done before him. 


REFERENCES. Maunder's " Biog. Treasury"; also Beckmann's 
" History of Inventions," Vol. I. p. 44, and biography in Larousse, 
Vol. XT, as well as in Vol. XVI of the Ninth " Britannica." 

A.D. 1700. Duverney (Joseph Guichard), an eminent French 
anatomist, knew at this date that the limbs of a frog are convulsed 
by the electric current (as shown in the " Histoire de 1' Academic 
des Sciences," 1700, p. 40, and 1742, vol. I. p. 187), and the Italian 
physician L. Marco Antonio Caldani, assistant to Morgagni, alludes 
to the " revival of frogs by electrical discharges." 

REFERENCES. " Ency. Metrop.," Vol. IV. p. 220; Highton's " Elect. 
Tel." ; Fahie, " 1 list, of Elcc. Tel.," pp. 175 and 176 and notes; Knight's 
" Mech. Diet.," Vol. IT. p. 936; G. H. Browne, London, 1704, and in 
" Phil. Mag.," Vol. XVIII. p. 285, also note p. 83 of Ronalds' "Catalogue." 

A.D. 1701-1702. Le Brun (Pierre), French theologian (1661- 
1729), publishes his " Histoire Critique des Pratiques Supcrstitieu- 
ses," wherein he makes mention (Vol. I. p. 294) of the possibility 
of transmitting intelligence in the manner indicated by the Jesuit 
Leurechon . 

He is also the author of " Lettres qui decouvrent I'illusion des 
philosophes sur la baguette divinatoire," Paris, 1693 (Larousse's 
" Dictionnaire," Tome X. p. 292). 

A.D. 1702. Bion (Nicolas), French engineer and manufacturer 
of mathematical and astronomical instruments (1652-1733), is the 
author of " Usage des Astrolabes," which was shortly after followed 
by his well-known " Traite de la construction et des principaux 
usages des instruments de mathcmatique." In the preparation of 
the last named, which was translated into German (Leipzig, 1713, 
Nuremberg, 1721) as well as into English (London, 1723, 1738), 
Bion admits the assistance afforded him by Lahire, Cassini and 
Delisle the younger. 

The whole of Book VII (pp. 267-290) of the " Traite/' is devoted 
to the description of instruments employed in navigation, the com- 
pass and the astrolabe in particular, with instructions for ascertaining 
the declination and variation. 

Bion is also the author of " L'Usage des Globes Celestes et 
Terrestres et des spheres suivant les differents syst ernes du monde," 
Amsterdam, 1700. Much of the matter, however, is said to have 
been copied by Bion from Pierre Poliniere's " Experiences de 
Phisique," of which latter five editions were printed respectively 
in 1709, 1718, 1728, 1734 and 1741. 

REFERENCES. "La Grande Encycl.," Vol. VI. p. 897; Michaud, 
"Biog. Univ.," Vol. IV. p. 354; Dr. J. Thomas, "Univ. Pr. Diet.," 
1886, "p. 386. 


A.D. 1702. Marcel (Arnold), Commissioner of the Navy at 
Aries, publishes a pamphlet dedicated to the King, and entitled 
" The Art of Making Signals, both by Sea and by Land," wherein 
he affirms that he has " communicated frequently at the distance 
of two leagues (in as short a space of time as a man could write 
down and form exactly the letters contained in the advice he would 
communicate), an unexpected piece of news that took up a page 
in writing/' The particulars of this invention are, however, 

Marcel reports many well-authenticated instances where, as 
already mentioned by Maestro Giulio Ciesare (A.D. 1590), iron bars 
have become temporarily magnetic by position alone. 

REFERENCES. Snow Harris, " JRudim. Mag.," I and II. pp. 91, 92; 
also " Emporium of Arts and Sciences," 1812, Vol. T. p. 301 ; Phil. Traus., 
Vol. XXXVII. p. 294, also the following abridgments : Badclam, Vol. IX, 
1745, p. 278; Eames and Martyn, Vol. VI. part. ii. p. 270; Ilutton, 
Vol. VII. p. 540. 

A.D. 1702. Kaempfer (Engelbrecht), German physician and 
naturalist (1:651-1716), describes in his " Amcenitates Exotica?," 
experiments made by him upon the electric torpedo (Leithead, 1837, 
Chap. XII). He insists that any person may avoid all sensation 
of the shock by merely holding the breath while touching the 
animal. This apparently improbable fact has since been confirmed, 
however, by many scientists ; the accurate observations of Mr. Walsh 
(A.D. 1773) on the subject, reported in the Phil. Trans, for 1773-1774- 
1775, claiming especial attention (Larousse, " Diet.," Vol. IX. p. 

A.D. 1704. Amontons (Guillaume), an ingenious mechanician 
and scientist, exhibits before the royal family of France, and before 
the members of the Academic des Sciences, his system of com- 
municating intelligence between distant points through the agency 
of magnifying glasses telescopes. The " Memoires de 1' Academic," 
1698-1705, contain an account of his many scientific productions. 

REFERENCES. Larousse, "Diet.," Vol. I. pp. 282-283; Appleton's 
" Cyclop.," Vol. I. p. 432. 

A.D. 1705. Witson (Nicholaes), Burgomaster of Amsterdam, 
announces at p. 56 of his " Noord en Oost Tartarye," that the 
nautical compass was in use by the Coreans in the second half of 
the seventeenth century. 

A.D. 1705. Hauksbee (Francis), English natural philosopher 
and Curator of the Royal Society, makes, before the latter, several 


experiments on the mercurial phosphorus. He shows that a con- 
siderable quantity of light can be produced by agitating mercury 
in partly exhausted as well as in thoroughly exhausted glass vessels. 
When the mercury is made to break into a shower, flashes of light 
are seen to start everywhere " in as strange a form as lightning/' 

He also showed light in vacuo produced by rubbing amber and 
by rubbing glass upon woollen. He says (Priestley, " Hist, and 
Present State of Electricity," London, 1775, p. 19) that every fresh 
glass first gave a purple and then a pale light, and that woollen, 
tinctured with salt or spirits, produced a new, strong and fulgurating 

Hauksbee constructed a powerful electrical machine wherein 
the Von Guericke sulphur globe was replaced by one of glass, as 
had already been done by Sir Isaac Newton (at A.D. 1675). With 
it he found that upon exhausting the air, whirling the globe rapidly 
and placing his hand upon the outside, a strong light appeared upon 
the interior, and that the light would show itself also upon the 
outside when air was let into the globe (" Physico-Mech. Exp.," 
pp. 12, 14, 26, 32, 34). 

The machine, which the celebrated mechanician Leupold had 
constructed at Leipzig for Mr. Wolfius, only differed from the 
original one made by Hauksbee in that the glass globe turned 
vertically instead of horizontally. 

Other experiments with coated glass globes, globes of sulphur, 
etc., are detailed in the " Physico-Mech. Exp./' as indicated at 
pp. 21-24 f the Priestley work above alluded to. At the last-named 
page he says : " That Mr. Hauksbee, after all, had no clear idea of 
the distinction of bodies into electrics and non-electrics appears 
from some of his last experiments, in which he attempted to produce 
electrical appearances from metals, and from the reasons he gives 
for his want of success in those attempts." 

Hauksbee also gave some attention to the study of the laws 
of magnetic force, and the results published in the Phil. Trans., 
Vol. XXVII. for 1710-1712, p. 506, giving a law of force varying 
as the sesqui-duplicate ratio of the distances, were subsequently 
confirmed by Taylor and by Whiston in the Phil. Trans, for 1721 
(Noad, " Manual of Elec.," 1859, p. 579). 

REFERENCES. Aglave et Boulard, " LumiSre Elcctrique," Paris, 
1882, p. 18; Priestley, "Familiar Intr. to Study of Elcc.," London, 
1786, p. 60; Phil, Trans., Vol. XXV. pp. 2327, 2332 ; Vol. XXVI, 1708- 
1709, pp. 82-92; Vol. XXIX, 1714-1716, p. 294 (with Brooke Taylor); 
also the following abridgments : Hutton, Vol. V. pp. 270, 307, 324, 
344, 355, 411-416, 452, 509, 528,696; Jones, Vol. IV. p. 295 ; Baddam, 
1745, Vol. V. pp. 33-37, 41-43, 112, 114-117, 483 ; Trios. Thomson, " Hist, 
of the 1 Roy. Soc.," London*, 1812, p. 430, Chemical News, Vol. II. p. 147; 


Nicolas Desmarets, " Experiences," etc., Paris, 1754, in " Recueil des 
Me'moires de 1'Acad. dcs Sciences." 

A.D. 1705. Keill (John), M.A., F.R.S., Savilian Professor of 
Astronomy, is the author of " Introductio ad Veram Physicam, 
etc./' of which other editions appeared in 1725, 1739 and 1741, and 
a good English translation of which was published at Glasgow 
in 1776. 

The last named is entitled " An Introduction to Natural Phil- 
osophy, or Lectures in Physics read in the University of Oxford 
in the Year 1700." In Lecture VIII he states : " It is certain 
that the magnetic attractions and directions arise from the structure 
of parts ; for if a loadstone be struck hard enough, so that the 
position of its internal parts be changed, the loadstone will also 
be changed. And if a loadstone be put into the fire, insomuch 
that the internal structure of the parts be changed or wholly de- 
stroyed, then it will lose all its former virtue and will scarce differ 
from other stones. . . . And what some generally boast of, con- 
cerning effluvia, a subtile matter, particles adapted to the pores 
of the loadstone, etc., does not in the least lead us to a clear and 
distinct explication of these operations; but notwithstanding all 
these things, the magnetick virtues must be still reckoned amongst 
the occult qualities." 

A.D. 1706. Hartsoeker (Nicolas), Dutch natural philosopher, 
friend of Christian Huyghens, while Professor of Mathematics at 
Diisseldorf, writes his " Conjectures Physiques," four editions of 
which were published during the three years 1708, 1710 and 1712. 

The Tenth Discourse of the Second Book (pp. 140-182) treats 
of the nature and properties of the loadstone and gives numerous 
observations concerning magnetical phenomena, which are well 
illustrated. He says that many ordinary stones have become 
magnetic after being long exposed to the air, in consequence of 
iron penetrating them. He believes that the native loadstone is 
made up of ordinary stone and of iron containing many small 
bodies through which run magnetic channels; that the latter are 
held together so strongly as to be disintegrated with difficulty, 
and that they are filled with a subtile matter which circulates 
incessantly through and around them. 

The First Discourse of the Fourth Book treats of Meteors, and 
at pp. 91-99 of his " Eclair cissements, . . /' published in 1710 he 
gives further reports of his curious observations on magnetic 

REFERENCES. " Journal des S9avans," Vol. XXIV for 1696, pp. 

For particulars of the very celebrated natural philosopher, Christian 


Huyghens Hugenius van Zuglichen (1629-1695) above alluded to, 
consult : the " Vita Hugenii," prefixed to his " Opera Varia," published by 
Van'Sgravesandein 1724 ;" Meyer's Konvcrsations-Lexikon, Leipzig und 
Wicn, 1895, Vol. IX. pp. 93-94, also the biography, embracing a detailed 
list of his geometrical, mechanical, astronomical and optical works at 
PP- 53 6 -53 8 of the " English Cyclopaedia"; Vol. II. of Houzeau et 
Lancaster, " Bibliog. GeneVale," p. 169; " Le Journal des Savants" 
for May 1834, April 1846, July 1888, April 1896, Feb. 1898, Oct. 1899; 
" Histoire des Sciences Math, et Phys.," Maximilien Marie, Paris, 1888, 
Vol. V. pp. 15-140; " Hist, et Mem. dc 1'Acad. Roy. des Sc.," Vol. I. 
p. 307; Hartsoeker's biography at pp. 307-308 of the " Engl. Cycl.," 
Vol. Ill, 1867.1 

A.D. 1707. J. G. S. (not, as many suppose, Jean George Sulzer) 
publishes " Curious Speculations during Sleepless Nights," 8vo, 
Chemnitz, wherein appears the first account of the development, 
by heat, of electricity in the tourmaline, which latter, it is therein 
stated, was first brought from Ceylon by the Dutch in 1703, Another 
report of the above appears in the Memoir es de I' Academic des 
Sciences of Paris for 1717. 

REFERENCE. Bcckmann, Bohn, 1846, Vol. I. pp. 86-98. 

A.D. 1708. Wall (Dr. William), a prominent English divine, 
communicates to the Royal Society (Phil. Trans., Vol. XXVI. 
No. 314, p. 69) the result of his experiments, showing him to have 
been the first to establish a resemblance of electricity to thunder 
and lightning. 

He found that, upon holding tightly in the hand a large bar 
of amber and rubbing it briskly against woollen cloths, " a pro- 
digious number of little cracklings was heard, every one of which 
produced a small flash of light (spark) ; and that when the amber 
was drawn lightly through the cloth it produced a spark but no 
crackling." He observed that " by holding a finger at a little 
distance from the amber a crackling is produced, with a great flash 
of light succeeding it, and, what is very surprising, on its eruption 
it strikes the finger very sensibly, wheresoever applied, with a push 
or puff like wind. The crackling is fully as loud as that of charcoal 
on fire. . . . This light and crackling seem in some degree to 
represent thunder and lightning." 

REFERENCES. Bakewell, "Electric Science," p. 13; Aglave et 
Boulard, " Lumidre Electrique," 1882, p. 17; Thos. Thomson, "An 
Outline of the Sciences of Heat and Electricity," London, 1830, pp. 314, 
^63; Thos. Thomson, " Hist of the Roy. Soc.," London, 1812, p. 431 ; 

* " La perte de 1'illustre M. Huygens est inestimable, peu de gens le 
savent autant que moi; il a gal, a mon avis, la reputation de Galilee et 
de Descartes, et, aid 6 par ce qu'ils avaient fait, il a surpass^ leurs de"couvertes." 
(Extracted from a letter written by Leibnitz to Bosange, July 26, 1695 
" Journal des Savants," for Nov f 1905, " Qeuvres compldtes de Christian 
Iluygens," La Hayc, 1905.) 


see also the following abridgments of the Phil. Trans. ; Hutton, Vol. V. 
p. 408 and Baddam of 1745, Vol. V. p. in. 

A.D. 1712. The great Japanese Encyclopaedia, Wa-Kan-san siil 
tson-ye, describes the compass, zi-siak-no-fari, at Vol. XV. folio 3, 
recto (Klaproth, " Lettre a M. de Humboldt," etc., 1834, p. 107). 

A.D. 1717. Lemery (Louis), two years after the death of his 
distinguished father, Nicolas Lemery, exhibits a stone (the tour- 
maline) brought from Ceylon, and announces, to the French 
Academic des Sciences, that it possesses the electrical property of 
attracting and repelling light bodies after being warmed. 

Carl Linnaeus (1707-1777) alludes to the experiments of Lemery, 
in his Flora Zeylanica, and mentions the stone under the name of 
lapis electricus. (See, for Carl Linnaeus, " Thesaurus Litteraturae 
Botanicae," G. A. Pritzel, Lipsiae, 1851, pp. 162-169, also " Guide 
to the Literature of Botany," by Benj. Daydon Jackson, London, 
1881, pp. xxxvi, etc.) 

The first scientific examination of the electric properties of the 
tourmaline was, however, made by ^Epinus in 1756, and published 
in the Memoirs of the Berlin Academy. yEpinus showed that a 
temperature of between 99^ and 212 F. was necessary for the 
development of its attractive powers. 

Of the electricity of crystals, Gmelin, in his " Chemistry " 
(Vol. I. p. 319), names the following discoverers : /Epinus (tour- 
maline) see A.D. 1759; Canton (topaz) see A.D. 1753; Brard 
(axinite) see A.D. 1787; Haliy (boracite, prehnite, sphene, etc.) 
see A.D. 1787; Sir David Brewster (diamond, garnet, amethyst, 
etc.) see A.D. 1820; and Wilhelm Gottlieb Hankel (borate of 
magnesia, tartrate of potash, etc.). 

REFERENCES. Becquerel, " Resume," 1858, p. n ; Lcithcad, " Elec- 
tricity," p. 239; " Ph. Hist, and Mem. of Roy. Ac. of Sc. at Paris," 
London, 1742, Vol. V. p. 216; " Journal des Scavans," Vol. LXX for 
1721, pp. 572-573 on the tourmaline. 

A.D. 1720. Grey Gray (Stephen), a pensioner of the Charter 
House and Fellow of the Royal Society, makes known through his 
first paper in the Phil. Trans, the details of the important line of 
investigation which finally led to the discovery of the principle of 
electric conduction and insulation as well as to the fact, not the 
principle, of induction (see ^Epinus, A.D. 1759). Thus, to Grey is 
due the credit of having laid the foundation of electricity as a science. 

He proved that electricity can be excited by the friction of 
feathers, hair, linen, paper, silk, etc., all of which attract light 
bodies even at a distance of eight or ten inches. He next discovered 
that electricity can be communicated from excited bodies to bodies 


incapable of ready excitation. When first suspending a hempen line 
with pack threads he could not transmit electricity, but when suspend- 
ing the line with silken threads he transmitted the electrical influence 
several hundred feet. The latter he did at the suggestion of his 
friend Granville Wheeler Wheler (not Checler, as Aglave et 
Boulard have it in " Lumiere Electrique," p. 20), thinking that 
" silk might do better than pack thread on account of its smallness, 
as less of the virtue would probably pass off by it than by the 
thickness of the hempen line which had been previously used/' 
They both tried experiments with longer lines of pack thread, but 
failed, as they likewise did after substituting thin brass wire for 
the thread. This afterwards led to the discovery of other insulating 
substances, like hair, resin, etc. During the months of June 1729, 
and August 1730, Grey and Wheeler succeeded in transmitting 
electricity through pack thread supported by silken cords a distance 
of 765 feet, and through wire at a distance of 800-886 feet. 

Grey demonstrated also that electric attraction is not propor- 
tioned to the quantity of matter in bodies, but to the extent of 
their surface, and he likewise discovered the conducting powers 
of fluids and of the human body. Of the cracklings and flashes of 
light he remarks : " And although these effects are at present but 
in minimis, it is probable, in time, there may be found out a way 
to collect a greater quantity of the electric fire, and consequently 
to increase the force of that power, which by several of those ex- 
periments, if we are permitted to compare great things with small, 
seems to be of the same nature with that of thunder and lightning " 
(Phil. Trans., abridgment of John Martyn, Vol. VIII. p. 401). 

Stephen Grey may be said to have continued his experiments 
while lying upon his death-bed, for, unable to write, he dictated to 
the last, as best he could, the progress he had made in his studies 
to Dr. Mortimer, the Secretary of the Royal Society (Phil. Trans., 
1735-1736, Vol. XXXIX. p. 400). 

Grey's own description of a new electric planetarium deserves 
reproduction here : " I have lately made several new experiments 
upon the projectile and pendulous motions of small bodies by 
electricity; by which small bodies may be made to move about 
larger ones, either in circles or ellipses, and those either concentric 
or excentric to the centre of the large body about which they move, 
so as to make many revolutions about them. And this motion will 
constantly be the same way that the planets move around the 
sun, viz. from the right hand to the left, or from west to east. 
But these little planets, if I may so call them, move much faster 
in their apogeon than in the perigeon part of their orbits, which 
is directly contrary to the motion of the planets around the sun." 


,To this should be added the following description of the manner 
in which these experiments can be made : " Place a small iron 
globe, of an inch or an inch and a half in diameter, on the middle 
of a circular cake of rosin, seven or eight inches in diameter, greatly 
excited; and then a light body, suspended by a very fine thread, 
five or six inches long, held in the hand over the centre of the cake, 
will, of itself, begin to move in a circle around the iron globe, and 
constantly from west to east. If the globe is placed at any dis- 
tance from the centre of the circular cake, it will describe an ellipse, 
which will have the same excentricity as the distance of the globe 
from the centre of the cake. If the cake of rosin be of an elliptical 
form, and the iron globe be placed in the centre of it, the light body 
will describe an elliptical orbit of the same excentricity with the 
form of the cake. If the globe be placed in or near one of the foci 
of the elliptical cake, the light body will move much swifter in the 
apogee them in the perigee of its orbit. If the iron globe is fixed on a 
pedestal an inch from the table, and a glass hoop, or a portion of a 
hollow glass cylinder, excited, be placed around it, the light body 
will move as in the circumstance above mentioned, and with the 
same varieties." 

REFERENCES. Priestley, " Hist, and Present State of Elec.," 1775, 
pp. 26-42, 55-63 ; and " A New Universal History of Arts and Sciences," 
Electricity, Vol. 1. p. 460, Saturday Revieiv, August 21, 1858, p. 190; 
Wilson, "Treatise," 1752, Section IV. prop. i. p. 23, note; Phil. Trans., 
Vol. XXXI. p. 104; Vol. XXXVII. pp. 18, 227, 285, 397; Vol. XXXIX. 
pp. 16, 166, 220, also the following abridgments : Hutton, Vol. VI. 
p. 490; Vol. VII. pp. 449, 536, 566; Vol. VIII. pp. 2, 51, 65, 316, Reid 
and Gray, London, 1733, Vol. VI. pp. 4-17 (Granville Wheler) ; Eames 
and Martyn, Vol. VI. part ii. pp. 7, 9, 15, and Part IV. p. 96; Vol. VH. 
pp. 18-20, 231; John Martyn, Vol. VI11. part ii. pp. 397, 403, 404 
(Dr. C. Mortimer); Baddam, Vol. IX, 1745, pp. 145-160, 244, 272, 
340, 497; " An Outline of the Sciences of Heat and Electricity," 
Thomas Thomson, London, 1830, p. 344; and Thos. Thomson's " Hist, 
of the Roy. Soc.," London, 1812, p. 431 ; Weld, " Hist, of Roy. Soc.," 
Vol. I. p. 466; " A course of lectures on Nat. Philos. and the Mechanical 
Arts," by Thos. Young, London, 1807, Vol. JI. p. 417; " Hist, de 1'Aca- 
de"mie des Sciences," 1733, p. 31 ; " Jour. Litter." de 1732, a la Haye, 
pp. 183, 186, 187, 197; " Hist de 1'Academie Royale de Berlin," 1746, 
p. ii ; " Journal des S9avans," Vol. CXXV for 1741, pp. 134-141, and 
Vol. CXXVI for 1742, pp. 252-263. For Granville Wheeler, consult 
Phil. Trans., Vol. XLL pp. 98, 118, also the following abridgments : 
Hutton, Vol. VIII. pp. 306-320; John Martyn, Vol. VIII. part ii. 
pp. 406, 412, 415. For Dr. C. Mortimer, consult Phil. Trans., Vol. XLI. 
p. 112 and John Martyn's abridgments, Vol. VIII. part ii. pp. 404-412. 

A.D. 1721. Taylor (Brooke), LL.D., F.R.S. (1685-1731), an 
eminent English mathematician, past Secretary of the Royal 
Society, and one of the ablest geometers of his time " the only 
one who, after the retreat of Newton, could safely enter the lists 
with the Bernoullis " publishes his " Experiments on Magnetism " 
in Phil. Trans., No. 368. 


In order to arrive at a proper determination of the laws of 
magnetic force, Dr. Taylor and also Whiston and Hauksbee 
according to Sir David Brewster, considered " the deviation of a 
compass needle from the meridian, produced by the action of a 
magnet at different distances ; and the conclusion which they all 
drew from their experiments was that the magnetic force was 
proportional to the sines of half the arcs of deviation, or nearly in 
the inverse sesqui-duplicate ratio of the distance, or as the square 
roots of the fifth powers of the distances. Dr. Taylor had already 
come to the conclusion that the force was different in various 
magnets, and decreased quicker at great distances than at small 
ones, an experimental fact, as shown by Sir W. S. Harris, ' Rud. 
Mag./ Part III. p. 224." 

In Dr. Thomas Thomson's " History of the Royal Society " we 
read, however (p. 461), that Brooke Taylor, and after him Musschen- 
broek, attempted without success to determine by experiment the 
rate at which the magnetic attractions and repulsions vary. This 
rate was successfully investigated by the subsequent experiments of 
Lambert, Robison and Coulomb. The nature of magnetic curves 
was first satisfactorily explained by Lambert, Robison and Playfair. 
Brooke Taylor gave four poles to a wire by touching it at one end 
or at various parts, as indicated in Phil. Trans., Vol. XXIX. p. 294, 
and Vol. XXXI. p. 204. 

REFERENCES. Whewell, " Hist of the Ind. Sciences," 1859, Vol. I. 
PP- 359 3751 Vol. II. p. 31; " General Biog. Diet.," London, 1816, 
Vol/XXlX: pp. 163-166; Phil. Trans, for 1714-1716, Vol. XXIX. p. 
294 and the following abridgments : Hutton, Vol. VI. p. 528; Keid and 
Gray, Vol VI. pp. 17, 159; Hy. Jones, Vol. IV. part ii. p. 297; Eames 
and Martyn, Vol. VI. part ii. p. 253. 

A.D. 1722. Graham (George), a celebrated optician and instru- 
ment maker in London, is the first to distinctly make known the 
diurnal and horary variations of the magnetic needle, traces of 
which had been merely recognized as facts by Gellibrand, in 1634, 
and by the Missionary Father Guy-Tachard at Louvo, in Siam, 
during 1682. He finds that its northern extremity begins to move 
westward at about seven or eight o'clock in the morning, and 
continues to deviate in that direction until about two o'clock in 
the afternoon, when it becomes stationary ; it soon begins to return 
to the eastward and becomes again stationary during the night. 
Graham made nearly a thousand observations, between the 6th of 
February and the I2th of May, 1722, and found that the greatest 
westerly variation was 14 45', and the least 13 50'; in general, 
however, it varied between 14 and 14 35', giving 35' for the 
amount of the daily variation. 


Graham's discovery afterwards amplified by Anders Celsius 
(A.D. 1740) attracted but little attention until 1750, when the 
subject was ably taken up by Wargentin, Secretary to the Swedish 
Academy of Sciences. Between 1750 and 1759 Mr. John Canton 
made about 4000 observations on the same subject, and was 
followed by the Dutch scientist Gerard van Swieten, the favourite 
pupil of Boerhaave, with like results. 

As Dr. Lardner states (" Lectures on Science and Art/' 1859, 
Vol. II. p. 115), the same phenomenon has been observed more 
recently by Col. Beaufoy (at A.D. 1813), by Prof. Hansteen (at 
A.D. 1819) and by many others. He further states that Cassini, 
who observed the diurnql variation of the needle at Paris, found 
that neither the solar heat nor light influenced it, for it was the 
same in the deep caves constructed under the Observatory in Paris, 
where a sensibly constant temperature is preserved, and from which 
light is excluded, as at the surface. In northern regions these 
diurnal changes are greater and more irregular; while, toward the 
line, their amplitudes are gradually diminished until at length they 
disappear altogether. 

It was Graham who first entertained the idea of measuring the 
magnetic intensity through the vibrations of the needle, a method 
subsequently used by Coulomb, and which many believe was in- 
vented by the latter. From the observations made by Humboldt 
and by Gay-Lussac in this manner, Biot has reduced the variation 
of intensity in different latitudes. 

REFERENCES. " Am. Journal Science," Vol. XXX. p. 225 ; Walker, 
" Magnetism," Chap. II; Fifth Dissertation of the Eighth " Britannica," 
Vol. I. p. 744; also Phil. Trans. 1724-1725, Vol. XXX11I. p. 332, and 
pp. 96-107 (" An Account of Observations Made of the Horizontal 
Needle at London, 1722-1723, by Mr. George Graham ") and the following 
abridgments : Reid and Gray, Vol. VI. pp. 170, 187; Hutton, Vol. VII. 
pp. 27, 94; Vol. IX. p. 495; Eames and Martyn, Vol. vi. part ii. pp. 
28, 280, 290; Baddam, 1745, Vol. VIII. p. 20; John Martyn, Vol. X. 
part ii. p. 698; An de chimie for 1749, Vol. XXV. p. 310. 

A.D. 1725. Horrebow Horreboe (Peter), was a Danish 
physicist (1679-1764), who studied medicine for a time and then 
became a pupil of the celebrated mathematician and astronomer 
Olaus Rcemer (1644-1710, best known by his discovery of the finite 
velocity of light), whom he succeeded in the University of 

His earliest work, " Clavis Astronomue," first appeared during 
1725, but it is only in the second and enlarged new edition of it 
in Horrebow's " Operum Mathematico-Physicorum/' Havn. 1740, 
Vol. I: p. 317, that will be found the passage (s. 226) in which the 
luminous process of the sun is characterized as a perpetual northern 


light. Humboldt, who mentions the fact (" Cosmos/' 1859, Vol. V. 
p. 81) suggests that a comparison be made of Horrebow's statement 
with the precisely similar views held by Sir William Herschel 
(1738-1822) and Sir John Frederick William Herschel (1792-1871). 
He says that Horrebow, who did not confound gravitation with 
magnetism, was the first who thus designated the process of light 
produced in the solar atmosphere by the agency of powerful mag- 
netic forces (" Memoires de Mathematiques et de Physique, 
presenters a 1'Academie Royale des Sciences/' Vol. IX. 1780, p. 262; 
Hanow, in Joh. Dan. Tit ins 's " Gemeiniitzige Abhand. iiber 
natur. Dinge/' 1768, p. 102), and, with reference to the Herschels 
he thus expresses himself : " If electricity, moving in currents, 
develops magnetic forces, and if, in accordance with an early 
hypothesis of Sir Wm. Herschel (Phil. Trans, for 1795, Vol. LXXXV. 
P- 318; John Herschel, "Outlines of Astronomy/' p. 238; also, 
Humboldt, " Cosmos," Vol. I. p. 189), the sun itself is in the con- 
dition of a perpetual northern light (I should rather say of an 
electro-magnetic storm) we should seem warranted in concluding 
that solar light transmitted in the regions of space by vibrations 
of ether, may be accompanied by electro-magnetic currents " (" Diet, 
of Nat. Biog.," for John and William Herschel, Vol. XXVI. pp. 

REFERENCES. Larousse, "Diet. Univ.," Vol. IX. p. 397; Wolf, 
" Hist. Ordbog.," Vol. VII. pp. 194-199; Nyerup, " Univ. Annalen "; 
Houzcau ct Lancaster, " Bibliographic," 1882, Vol. 11. p. 166. 

Three of the children of Peter Horrebow, almost equally dis- 
tinguished for their learning, are : Nicolas Horrebow (1712-1760), 
who made physical and astronomical observations in Iceland and 
published an able report thereon during 1752 ; Christian Horrebow 
(1718-1776), who succeeded his father in 1753 as astronomer in 
the Copenhagen University and who wrote several important 
scientific treatises; and Peter Horrebow (1728-1812), who was 
professor of mathematics and philosophy, and published works on 
geometry, meteorology and astronomy. 

Much of interest concerning the above will also be found in 
the " Abstracts of Papers . . . Roy Soc./' Vol. II. pp. 208, 249, 
251, and in the " Catalogue of Sc. Papers . . . Roy. Soc./' Vol. III. 
pp. 322-328; Vol. VI. p. 687; Vol. VII. p. 965. 

A.D. 1726. Wood (John), an English architect of considerable 
repute, is said to have shown that the electric fluid could be conveyed 
through wires a long distance, and, during the year 1747, one of 
the earliest applications of Wood's discovery was made by Dr. 


William Watson (see A.D. 1745), who extended his experiments 
over a space of four miles, comprising a circuit of two miles of 
wire and an equal distance of ground. 

REFERENCES. Alexander Jones, " Sketch of the Elect. Teleg.," New 
York, 1852, p. 7; Charles F. Briggs, " Story of the Telegraph," 1858, p. 18. 

A.D. 1729. Hamilton (James), who became sixth Earl of 
Abercorn also called Lord Paisley publishes " Calculations and 
Tables relating to the attractive virtue of loadstones ..." con- 
taining very valuable data and wherein he is the first to give the 
true law of the lifting capacity of magnets, as follows : " The prin- 
ciple upon which these tables are formed is this : That if two load- 
stones are perfectly homogeneous, that is if their Matter be of the 
same specifick parity, and of the same virtue in all parts of one 
stone, as in the other; and that like parts of their surfaces are 
cap'd or arm'd with iron ; then the weights they sustain will be as 
the squares of the cube roots of the weights of the loadstones ; that 
is, as their surfaces." 

Gilbert treats of armed loadstones, Book II. chaps, xvii-xxii. 
In connection with the increased energy which magnets acquire 
by being armed, that is, fitted with a cap of polished iron at each 
pole, Dr. Whewell remarks that it is only at a later period any 
notice was taken " of the distinction which exists between the 
magnetical properties of soft iron and of hard steel; the latter 
being susceptible of being formed into artificial magnets, with 
permanent poles ; while soft iron is only passively magnetic, receiving 
a temporary polarity from the action of a magnet near it, but 
losing this property when the magnet is removed. About the 
middle of the last century various methods were devised of making 
artificial magnets, which exceeded in power all magnetic bodies 
previously known " (" Hist, of the Ind. Sc.," 1859, Vol. II. p. 220), 

Hamilton alludes to a loadstone weighing 139 grains, with a 
lifting power of 23,760 grains ! We have referred, amongst others, 
to the loadstone belonging to Sir Isaac Newton at A.D. 1675, and 
to the wonderful collection belonging to Mr. Butterfield at A.D. 1809. 
A loadstone weighing twelve ounces, capable of lifting sixty pounds 
of iron, is referred to in Terzagus, " Musieum Septalianum," 1664, 
p. 42, while another weighing two and a half grains and lifting 
783 grains is mentioned at p. 272, Vol. III. of the " Records of 
General Science " ; and Salviatus ( Dialogues of Galileo," Dial. Ill) 
alludes to one in the Academy of Florence which, unarmed, weighed 
six ounces and could lift but two ounces, but when armed had a 
lifting power of 160 ounces. At pp. 317-318, Part III of Nehemiah 
Grew's " Musseum Regalis Societatis," London, 1681 also 1686 


allusion is made to a loadstone found in Devonshire, weighing about 
sixty pounds, which moved a needle nine feet distant. Grew then 
refers to Athan. Kircher and to Vincent Leotaud as having pub- 
lished what is said of the loadstone by Gilbert and others, and he 
likewise states : " Those that travail through the vast deserts of 
Arabia, have also a needle and a compass whereby they direct 
themselves in their way, as Mariners at sea [Majoli, ' Colloquia '] ; 
the power of the magnet dependeth not upon its bulk the smaller 
being usually the stronger. . . ." 

REFERENCES. Phil. Trans, for, 1729-1730, No. 412, Vol. XXXVI. 
p. 245, and for July 1888, also Mutton's abridgments, Vol. VII. p. 383; 
V. T. M. Van der Willigcn, " Arch, du Musec Teyler," 1878, Vol/IV ; 
Jacob! Rohaulti, " Physica," 1718, Part III. cap. 8, p. 403, or the 
English translation by Dr. Clarke, 1728, Vol. II. p. 181 ; P. W. Hacker, 
" Zur theorie des magnctismus," Nurnberg, 1856; Alh. Kircher, " Mag- 
ncs. . . ." 1643, lib. i. part ii. p. 63; Daniel Bernoulli, "Ada 
Helvetica," 1758, Vol. III. p. 223; Nic. Cabaeus " Philosophia Mag- 
netica," 1629, lib. iv. cap. 42, p. 407; Kenelme Digby, " The Nature 
of Bodies," 1645, Chap. XXII. p. 243; "Diet, of Nat. Biog ," Vol. 
XXIV. p. 185. 

A.D. 1729-1730. Savery (Servington), English mechanician, 
succeeds in imparting magnetism to hard steel bars three-fourths 
of an inch square and sixteen inches long, by fitting one bar with 
an armature at each end and touching other bars with it whilst 
held in the magnetic meridian in the line of the inclined needle. 

It was shown by Savery that his artificial magnets were prefer- 
able to loadstones. The first recorded attempt to make artificial 
magnets is credited to one John Sellers, believed to be the author 
of " The Practical Navigator," of which the earliest edition ap- 
peared in 1669, and of " The Coasting Pilot," published about 1680. 
An " Answer to Some Magnetical Inquiries Proposed in (the pre- 
ceding) No. 23, pp. 423-424," will be found in Phil. Trans, for 1667, 
Vol. II. pp. 478-479 and in the following abridgments : Baddam, 
*745> Vol. I. p. 86; Mutton, Vol. I. p. 166 (as of No. 26, p. 478) ; 
John Lowthorp, Vol. II. p. 601. Reference is likewise made to 
this invention of Sellers at Vol. I. p. 86 of the " Memoirs of the 
Royal Society," London, 1739, and in a paper by Reaumur, in the 
" Memoires de T Academic Fran$aise " for the year 1723. 

REFERENCES. Savery, " Magnetical Observations and Experi- 
ments," also Phil. Trans., Vol. XXXVI. pp. 295-340; and the following 
abridgments: Hutton, Vol. VII. p. 400; Reid and Gray, Vol. VI. 
p. 166; Eames and Martyn, Vol. VI. p. 260; Baddam, 1745, Vol. IX. 
p. 57; Geo. Adams, " Essay on Electricity," 1785, p. 451. 

A.D. 1731. On the 25th of November the Royal Society were 
honoured by a visit from the Prince of Wales and the Duke of 
Lorraine, the last named being enrolled as a member during the 


evening. Experiments were performed " On the strength of Lord 
Paisley's loadstone/' " On Dr. Frobenius's phlogiston/' and " On 
the electrical observations of Mr. Stephen Grey/' These experi- 
ments which, it is said, " succeeded notwithstanding the largeness 
of the company," showed the facility with which electricity passes 
through great lengths of conductors and are worth noting as being 
the first of their nature. 

A.D. 1732. Regnault (Le Pere Noel) gives in " Les Entre- 
tiens Physiques," etc., Vol. I. Nos. 15 and 16, the tables of the 
declination at Paris from the years 1600-1730, and treats at length 
of the merits of the loadstone and of the magnetic needle. 

In Vols. II, IV and V he discourses about the extent of the 
magnetic fluid and explains the phenomena of meteors, St. Elmo's 
fire, thunder, etc., besides recording the experiments of Grey, Dufay 
and others. 

A.D. 1733. Dufay (Charles Fran9ois de Cisternay), French 
scientist and superintendent of the Jardin du Roi t now the Jardin 
des Plantes, of Paris (in which latter position he was succeeded by 
Buffon), communicates to the French Academy of Sciences the 
history of electricity brought down to the year 1732 (Dantzig 
Memoirs, Vol. I. p. 195). 

He is said to have originated the theory of two kinds of 'elec- 
tricity permeating matter and producing all the known phenomena 
of attraction, repulsion and induction, though the honour of this 
important discovery should be shared by M. White, who was asso- 
ciated at one time with Stephen Grey and who, it appears, 
independently discovered the fact while in England. Dufay thus 
announces his discovery : " . . . there are two kinds of electricity, 
very different from one another, one of which I call vitreous (positive) 
and the other resinous (negative) electricity. The first is that of 
glass, rock crystal, precious stones, hairs of animals, wool and many 
other bodies. The second is that of amber, copal, gum-lac, silk, 
thread, paper and a vast number of other substances. The char- 
acteristics of these two electricities are that they repel themselves 
and attract each other. Thus a body of the vitreous electricity 
repels all other bodies possessed of the vitreous, and, on the con- 
trary, attracts all those of the resinous electricity. The resinous 
also repels the resinous and attracts the vitreous. From this 
principle one may easily deduce the explanation of a great number 
of the phenomena ; and it is probable that this truth will lead us 
to the discovery of many other things " (see Franklin, at A.D. 1752, 
and Symmer, at A.D. 1759). 



Upon repeating Grey's experiments, Dufay observed, amongst 
other things, that, by wetting pack thread, electricity was more 
readily transmitted through it, and he was enabled thus easily to 
convey the fluid a distance of 1256 feet, though the wind was high 
and although the line made eight returns. 

REFERENCES. Fontenelle, " Eloge " ; Priestley, " History and 
Present State of Electricity," 1775, Period IV. pp. 43-54; Sturgeon, 
Lectures, 1842, p. 23; "An Epitome of El. and Mag.," Philad., 1809, 
p. 29; Mem. de I'Acad. Royale des Sciences for 1733, pp. 23, 28, 76, 
83, 233-236, 251, 252, 457; also for the years 1734, pp. 303, 341, and 
1737, pp. 86, 307; Phil. Trans., Vol. XXXVIII. p. 258; also the follow- 
ing abridgments : Hntton, Vol. VII. p. 638; John Martyn, Vol. VIII. 
part ii. p. 393 , Baddam, Vol. IX. p. 497; Thos. Thomson, "An Outline 
of the Sciences of Heat and Electricity," London, 1830, p. 344 and Thos. 
Thomson, "Hist, of the Roy Soc.," London, 1812, p. 432; "Electricity 
in the Service of Man," R. Wormell (from the German of Dr. Urbanitzky), 
London, 1900, p. 14; "Journal des S^avans," Vol. XCIII for 1731, 
pp. 383-388; Vol. C for 1733, p. 244; Vol. CIV for 1734, p. 479; Vol. 
CXfl for i 737, p. 65 ; Vol. CXV for 1738, p. 173 ; Vol. CXXIX for 1743, 
p. 501. 

A.D. 1733. Winckler (Johann Heinrich), a philosopher of 
Wingendorf, Saxony, and Professor of Languages in the University 
of Leipzig, first uses a fixed cushion in the electric machine for 
applying friction instead of by means of the hand, and is, by many, 
believed to have been the first to suggest the use of conductors as 
a me'ans of protection against lightning (see B.C. 600). 

In March 1745, Winckler read a paper before the Royal Society, 
in which he describes machines for rubbing tubes and globes, also 
a contrivance with which he can give his globes as many as 680 
turns in a minute. Priestley states that the German electricians 
generally used several globes at a time and that they could excite 
such a prodigious power of electricity from " globes, whirled by a 
large wheel and rubbed with woollen cloth or a dry hand, that, if 
we may credit their own accounts, the blood could be drawn from 
the finger by an electric spark ; the skin would burst and a wound 
appear, as if made by a caustic." 

During the year 1746 Winckler made use of common electricity 
for telegraphic communications by the discharge of Leyden jars 
through very long circuits, in some of which the River Pleisse 
formed a part, and it may be added that Joseph Franz had previously 
discharged the contents of a jar through 1500 feet of iron wire 
while in the city of Vienna. 

REFERENCES. Phil. Trans., Vol. XLIII. p. 307; Vol. XLIV. pp. 211, 
397; Vol. XLV. p. 262; Vol. XLVII. p. 231; Vol. XLVIII. p. 772; also 
following abridgments: Hutton, Vol. IX. pp. 74, 109, 251, 345, 494; 
Vol. X. pp. 197, 529; John Martyn, Vol. X. part ii. pp. 269, 273, 327, 


345 3991 Priestley, 1775, on the discoveries of the Germans, pp. 70-77; 
" Thoughts on the Properties," etc., Leipzig, 1744, pp. 146, 149. 

A.D. 1733. Brandt (Georg), Swedish chemist, gives in the 
" Memoirs of the Academy " of Upsal an account of the experi- 
ments made by him to show the possibility of imparting magnetism 
to substances which are not ferruginous. He proved it in the case 
of the metal cobalt, and during the year 1750 the able discoverer 
of nickel, Axel. F. de Cronstedt, showed that the latter is likewise 
susceptible of this property. 

REFERENCES. Thomas, "Diet, of Biog.," 1871, Vol. I. p. 428; 
English Cyclopaedia (Biography Supplement), 1872, p. 423. 

A.D. 1734. Poliniere (Pierre), French physician and experi- 
mental philosopher (1671-1734), member of the Society of Arts, 
entirely revises the fourth edition of his " Experiences de Phisique " 
originally issued in 1709. While the second volume contains but a 
short chapter relative to electricity, meteoric disturbances, etc., 
the remainder of the work gives very curious and interesting 
experiments with the loadstone, making allusion to the observa- 
tions of John Keill, besides treating of the declination of the 
needle, etc. 

REFERENCES. " New Gen. Biog. Diet.," London, 1850, Vol. XL 
p. 177; Moreri, "Grand Diet. Hist."; "Biog. Univ." (Michaud), 
Vol. XXXIII. p. 637; "Nouv. Biog. Gen." (Hcefer), Vol. XL. p. 614; 
Chaudon, " Diet. Hist. Univ." 

A.D. 1734. Swedenborg (Emanuel), founder of the Church of 
New Jerusalem, details in his " Principia Rerum Naturalium/' etc,, 
the result of experiments and sets forth the laws relating to magnetic 
and electric forces and effects. The first explicit treatise upon the 
close relationship existing between magnetism and electricity was, 
however, written fourteen years later by M. Laurent Beraud 
(1703-1777), Professor of Mathematics at the College of Lyons. 
Both Swedenborg and Beraud recognized the fact that it is, as 
Fahie expresses it, the same force, only differently disposed which 
produces both electric and magnetic phenomena. 

In " Results of an Investigation into the MSS. of Swedenborg," 
Edinburgh, 1869, p. 7, No. 16, Dr. R. L. Tafel makes following 
entry : 

" A treatise on the magnet, 265 pages text and 34 pages tables, 
quarto. This work is a digest of all that had been written up to 
Swedenborg's time on the subject, with some of his own experi- 
ments. According to the title page, Swedenborg had intended it 
for publication in London during the year 1722." 


The " Principia Rerum Naturalium " is the first volume of 
Swedenborg's earliest great work, " Opera Philosophica et Mineralia," 
originally published in Leipzig and Dresden 1734, which has justly 
been pronounced a very remarkable cosmogony. In the " Principia," 
Part I. chap, ix., is to be found his treatment of what he calls the 
second or magnetic element of the world; in Part III. chap. i. he 
gives a comparison of the sidereal heaven with the magnetic sphere, 
but he devotes the whole of Part II to the magnet in following 
chapters : 

I. On the causes and mechanism of the magnetic forces; 

II. On the attractive forces of two or more magnets, and the ratio 

of the forces to the distances ; 

III. On the attractive forces of two magnets when their poles are 
alternated ; 

IV. On the attractive forces of two magnets when their axes are 
parallel or when the equinoctial of the one lies upon the 
equinoctial of the other; 

V. On the disjunctive and repulsive forces of two or more magnets 

when the cognomical or inimical poles are applied to each 
other ; 

VI. On the attractive forces of the magnet and of iron; 

VII. On the influence of the magnet upon ignited iron; 

VIII. On the quantity of exhalations from the magnet and their 
penetration through hard bodies, etc.; 

IX. On the various modes of destroying the power of the magnet; 
and on the chemical experiments made with it ; 

X. On the friction of the magnet against iron, and on the force 

communicated from the former to the latter; 

XI. On the conjunctive force of the magnet, as exercised upon 
several pieces of iron ; 

XII. On the operation of iron and of the magnet upon the mariner's 
needle ; and on the reciprocal operation of one needle upon 
another ; 

XIII. On other methods of making iron magnetical; 

XIV. The declination of the magnet calculated upon the foregoing 
principles ; 

XV. On the causes of the magnetic declination ; 

XVI. Calculation of the declination of the magnet for the year 1722, 
at London. 

REFERENCES. Braud, "Dissertation," etc., Bordeaux, 1748; 
also Priestley, 1775, p. 191; "Biographic Universelle," Vol. III. 

?. 687; " Biog. Gener.," Vol. XLIV. pp. 690-703; Daillant de la 
ouche, " Abr6ge des ouvrages de Swedenborg," 1788; J. Clowes, 


" Letters on the writings of Swedenborg," 1799; " Svenskt Biogra- 
fiskt Handlexikon," Herm. Hofberg, Stockholm, pp. 368-369; 
" Swedenborg and the Nebular Hypothesis," Magnus Nyre"n, 
astronomer at Observatory of Pulkowa, Russia, translated from 
the " Viert el jahrschrift der Astronomischcn Gesellschaft," Leipzig, 
1879, p. 81, by Rev. Frank Sewall. 

A.D. 1735-1746. Ulloa (Don Antonio de), Spanish mathe- 
matician, who left Cadiz May 26, 1735, for South America, whither 
he was sent with Condamine and other French Academicians, as 
well as with Spanish scientists, to measure a degree of the meridian, 
returned to Madrid July 25, 1746, and shortly after gave an account 
of his experiences during an absence of eleven years and two months. 

In his " Voyage Historique de rAm6rique Meridionale," 
Amsterdam and Leipzig, 1752, he speaks (Vol. I. pp. 14-18 and 
Vol. II. pp. 30-31, 92-94, 113, 123, 128) of the defective magnetic 
needles given him as well as of the means of correcting them, and 
he details at great length the variations of the needle observed 
during the voyage. He also alludes to the variation charts of 
Dr. Halley and to the alterations therein made by advice of William 
Mountaine and Jacob Dooson James Dodson of London, as well 
as to the methods of ascertaining the variation of the magnetic 
needle pointed out both by Manuel de Figueyredo, at Chaps. IX-X 
of his " Hidrographie ou Examen des Pilotes," printed at Lisbon 
in 1608, and by Don Lazare de Flo res at Chap. I, part ii. of his 
" Art de Naviguer," printed in 1672. The latter, he says, asserts, 
in Chap. IX, that the Portuguese find his method so reliable that 
they embody it in all the instructions given for the navigation of 
their vessels. 

At pp. 66, 67, Chap. X of vol. ii. Ulloa makes the earliest 
recorded reference to the aurora australis, as follows : "At half -past 
ten in the evening, and as we stood about two leagues from the 
island of Tierra de Juan Fernandez, we observed upon the summit 
of a neighbouring mountain a very brilliant and extraordinary 
light. ... I saw it very distinctly from its inception, and I noticed 
that it was very small at first, and gradually extended until it looked 
like a large, lighted torch. This lasted three or four minutes, when 
the light began to dimmish as gradually as it had grown, and finally 

Incidentally, it may be stated here that the very learned Dr. 
John Dalton reported having seen the aurora australis in England, 
and to have besides observed the aurora borealis as far as 45 
latitude south (see accounts in Philosophical Transactions, Philo- 
sophical Magazine, Manchester Transactions and Nicholson's Journal), 
while Humboldt remarks (" Cosmos/' 1849, Vol. I. p. 192, note) 
that in south polar bands, composed of very delicate clouds, 


observed by Arago, at Paris, on the 23rd of June, 1844, dark rays 
shot upward from an arch running east and west, and that he had 
already made mention of black rays resembling dark smoke, as 
occurring in brilliant nocturnal northern lights. 

References to the aurora australis are made by the naturalist 
John Reinhold Forster, in the article on " Aurora Borealis " of the 
" Encycl. Britannica." 

For Mountaine and Dodson, consult tlieP/w'/. Trans., Vol.XLVIII. 
P- 875; Vol. L. p. 329, also Button's abridgments, Vol. XL p. 149. 

A.D. 1738. Boze Bose (Georg Matthias) (1710-1761), Pro- 
fessor of Philosophy at Wittemburg, publishes his " Oratio 
inauguralis de electricitate," which is followed, in 1746, by " Recher- 
ches sur la cause et sur la veritable theorie de Telectricite," and, in 
1747, by his completed " Tentamina electrica." 

To him is due the introduction in the electrical machine of the 
prime conductor, in the form of an iron tube or cylinder. The 
latter was at first supported by a man insulated upon cakes of 
resin and afterward suspended by silken strings. M. Boze dis- 
covered that capillary tubes discharging water by drops give a 
continuous run when electrified. He also conveyed electricity by 
a jet of water from one man to another, standing upon cakes of 
resin, at a distance of six paces, and likewise employed the jet for 
igniting alcohol as well as other liquids. 

REFERENCES. Alglave ct Boulard, 1882, p. 22, also Priestley, 1775, 
upon " Miscellaneous Discoveries," likewise " Nouv. Biog. G6nerale " 
(Hoefer), Vol. VI. p. 772; "La Grande Encycl.," Vol. VII. p. 454; 
" Journal des S9avans," Vol. LXIII for 1718, p. 485; Phil. Trans, for 
1745, Vol. XLIII. p. 419, and for 1749, Vol. XLVi. pf 189 ; also Hutton's 
abridgments, Vol. IX. pp. 127, 681 ; and J. Martyn's abridgments, 
VoL X. part ii. pp. 277, 329. 

A.D. 1739. Desaguliers (Jean Theophile), chaplain to his Grace 
the Duke of Chandos, gives an account of his first experiments on 
the phenomena of electricity at pp. 186, 193, 196, 198, 200, 209, 
6 34> 637, 638 and 661 of Vol. XLI of the Phil. Trans, for 1739. 
Some of these experiments were made on the I5th of April, 1738, 
at H.R.H. the Prince of Wales' house at Cliefden. 

He was the first to divide bodies into " electrics," or non- 
conductors, and " non-electrics," or conductors. He ranked pure 
air amongst his electrics (Tyndall, Lecture I) and stated that " cold 
air in frosty weather, when vapours rise least of all, is preferable 
for electrical purposes to warm air in summer, when the heat raises 
the vapours " (Phil. Trans., John Martyn abridgment, Vol. VIII. 
p. 437). It was Desaguliers who announced that he could render 
bars of iron magnetic, either by striking them sharply against the 


ground while in a vertical position or by striking them with a 
hammer when placed at right angles to the magnetic meridian. 

His " Dissertation Concerning Electricity," London, 1742, 
which won for him the grand prize of the Bordeaux Academy, is 
said to be the second work on the subject published in the English 
language, the first having been Boyle's " Mechanical Origin and 
Production of Electricity/' mentioned at A.D. 1675. 

Desaguliers was the second to receive the Copley medal, it 
having been previously bestowed by the Royal Society only upon 
Stephen Grey, who obtained it in 1731 and 1732 for his " New 
Electrical Experiments." The list of recipients of this distinguished 
honour, given by C. R. Weld at p. 385, Vol. I of the " History of 
the Royal Society/' shows that Desaguliers received three Copley 
medals; these were awarded him during the years 1734, 1736 and 
1741, for his " Experiments in Natural Philosophy." John Canton 
was given two of the medals, in 1751 and 1764, the only other 
electrician similarly favoured being Michael Faraday, who received 
them during the years 1832 and 1838, while Sir Humphry Davy 
is credited with only one, conferred upon him in 1805. 

" Can Britain . . . 

Permit the weeping muse to tell 
How poor neglected Desaguliers fell ? 
How he, who taught two gracious kings to view, 
All Boyle ennobled, and all Bacon knew, 
Died in a cell, without a friend to save, 
Without a guinea, and without a grave?" 

Cawthorn, " Vanity of Human Enjoyments," V. 147-154. 

In the year 1742, Desaguliers received the prize of the Academic 
Roy ale de Bordeaux for a treatise on the electricity of bodies, which 
latter was separately published at the time in a quarto volume of 
twenty-eight pages. The same Academy had previously conferred 
important prizes for dissertations, upon the nature of thunder and 
lightning by Louis Antoine Lozeran du Fech in 1726, upon the 
variations of the magnetic needle by Nicolas Sarrabat in 1727, and 
also subsequently decreed similar awards, to Laurent Beraud for 
an essay on magnets in 1748, to Denis Barberet for a treatise on 
atmospherical electricity in 1750, and to Samuel Theodor Quellmalz 
for a dissertation on medical electricity in 1753. 

REFERENCES. Phil. Trans., Vol. XL. p. 385; Vol. XL1I. pp. 14, 
140; also the following abridgments: Hutton, Vol. VIII. pp. 246- 
248, 340, 346, 350-358, 470-474, 479, 546, 584 ; John Marty n, Vol. VIII. 
part ii. pp. 419, 422444, 740. Very interesting reading is afforded by 
M. Desaguliers through the observations he made on the magnets having 
more poles than two. These will be found recorded in Phil. Trans. 
for 1738, p. 383 and in Hutton's abridgments, Vol. VIII. p. 246; 
Thomson, " Hist. Roy. Soc.," 1812, pp. 433, 434; " Gen. Biog. Diet.," 
Alex. Chalmers, London, 1811, Vol. XL pp. 489-493. 


A.D. 1740. Celsius (Anders), who filled the chair of astronomy 
at Upsal, is first to point out the great utility of making simultaneous 
observations over a large extent of territory and at widely different 
points. He states (Svenska Vetenskaps Academiens Handlingar for 
1740, p. 44) that a simultaneity in certain extraordinary pertur- 
bations, which had caused a horary influence on the course of the 
magnetic needle at Upsal and at London, afforded proof " that the 
cause of these disturbances is extended over considerable portions 
of the earth's surface, and is not dependent upon accidental local 

In the following year (1741), Olav Hiorter, who was Celsius 1 
assistant, discovered and measured the influence of polar light on 
magnetic variation. His observations were subsequently carried 
on in conjunction with Celsius, and were improved upon by 
Wargentin (A.D. 1750) and by Cassini (A.D. 1782-1791). 

REFERENCES. Walker, " Ter. and Cos. Magnetism," p. 116; also 
Humboldt, " Cosmos," re " Magnetic Disturbances," and Vol. II. p. 438, 
of Weld's " History of the Royal Society." 

A.D. 1742. Gordon (Andreas), a Scotch Benedictine monk 
(1712-1757), Professor of Philosophy at Erfurt, abandons the use 
of glass globes (Newton, at A.D. 1675 and Hauksbee, at A.D. 1705), 
and is the first to employ a glass cylinder, the better to develop 
electricity. His cylinder, eight inches long and four inches wide, 
is mcde to turn by means of a bow with such rapidity that it attains 
680 revolutions per minute. 

Priestley says (" Discovery of Germans, Part I. period vii.) 
that Gordon " increased the electric sparks to such a degree that 
they were felt from a man's head to his foot, so that a person could 
hardly take them without falling down with giddiness; and small 
birds were killed by them. This he effected by conveying elec- 
tricity, with iron wires, to the distance of 200 ells (about 250 yards) 
from the place of excitation." 

REFERENCES. Dantzig Memoirs, Vol. II. pp. 358, 359, and Nollet, 
" Recherches," etc., p. 172. See also Gordon's " Phenomena 
Electricitatis Exposita," Erford, 1744 and 1746; " Philosophia," 1745; 
" Tentamen . . . Electricitatis," 17451 " Versuche . . . einer Elec- 
tricitat.," 1745-1746. 

A.D. 1743. Hausen (Christian Augustus), Professor of Mathe- 
matics at Leipzig, publishes his " Novi profectus in historia electri- 
citatis," and is the first to revive the use of the glass globe intro- 
duced by Newton (A.D. 1675) and employed with great effect by 
Hauksbee (A.D. 1705). 

In Watson's " Experiences et observations sur I'electricite," 


is shown an electrical machine constructed by Hausen and differing 
but slightly from the one alluded to herein at A.D. 1705 as made 
for M. Wolfius. In this illustration a lady is pressing her hand 
against the glass globe, which is being rotated rapidly, thus develop- 
ing upon its surface the vitreous electricity, while the resinous elec- 
tricity passes through her body to the earth. The young man who 
is suspended and insulated by silken cords, represents the prime 
conductor introduced by Prof. Boze (A.D. 1738). The vitreous 
electricity passes from the surface of the glass globe, through his 
feet and entire body, and is communicated by his hand to the young 
girl, who stands upon a large section of resin, and is able to attract 
small parcels of gold leaf by means of the electric fluid. Another 
machine, taken from the same French work (originally published at 
Paris in 1748), is said to have been at that time much in use through- 
out Holland and principally at Amsterdam. The man rotates a 
glass globe, against which the operator presses his hand, and the 
electricity is conveyed through the metallic rod supported by silk- 
covered stands and held by a third party, who is igniting spirits in 
the manner indicated at the A.D. 1744 date. 

REFERENCE. Dantzig Memoirs, Vol. I. pp. 278, 279. 

A.D. 1743. Boerhaave Boerhaaven (Hermann), illustrious 
physician, mathematician and natural philosopher (1668-1738), 
who held the chairs of theoretical medicine, practical medicine, 
botany and chemistry at the University of Leyden, F.R.S. and 
member French Academy of Sciences, writes an Essay on the virtue 
of Magnetical Cures, of which there were subsequently many editions 
and translations in different languages. 

One of his biographers calls him " the Galen, the Ibn Sina, the 
Fernel of his age." Another remarks that he was, perhaps, the 
greatest physician of modern times : " A man who, when we con- 
template his genius, his erudition, the singular variety of his talents, 
his unfeigned piety, his spotless character, and the impress which 
he left not only on contemporaneous practice, but on that of suc- 
ceeding .generations, stands forth as one of the brightest names 
on the page of medical history, and may be quoted as an example 
not only to physicians, but to mankind at large. No professor 
was ever attended, in public as well as at private lectures, by so 
great a number of students, from such distant and different parts, 
for so many years successively ; none heard him without conceiving 
a veneration for his person, at the same time that they expressed 
their surprise at his prodigious attainments ; and it may be justly 


affirmed, that none in so private a station ever attracted a more 
universal esteem/' 

REFERENCES. " Biographica Philosophica," Benj. Martin, London, 
1764, pp. 478-483; " Eloge de Boerhaave," by Maty, Leyde, 1747, 
and by Fontenclle, 1763, T. VI; his life, written by Dr. Wm. Burton, 
London, 1736; Van Swinden, " Rccueil," etc., La Haye, 1784, Vol. II. 
p. 354, note; "La Grande Encyclopedic," Tome VII. p. 42; "Bio- 
graphic Generate," Tome VI. pp. 352-357; "Biographic Universelle," 
Vol. IV. pp. 529-555; Ninth " Encycl. Britannica," Vol. III. p. 854; 
" Histoire Philosophique de la Medecine," Etienne Tourtclle, Paris, An. 
XII. (1807), Vol. II. pp. 404-446; " Bibl. Britan." (Authors), Rob. 
Watt, Edinburgh, 1824, Vol. I. p. 127; " The Edinburgh Encyclopaedia," 
1830, Vol. III. pp. 628-630 or the 1813 ed., Vol. III. pp. 612-614; G. A. 
Pritzel, " Thesaurus Literature Botanicae," Lipsiae, 1851, p. 26. 

A.D. 1744. Ludolf Leudolff (Christian Friedrich), of Berlin, 
first exhibits, January 23, the ignition of inflammable substances 
by the electric spark. This he does in the presence of hundreds 
of spectators, on the occasion of the opening of the Royal Academy 
of Sciences by Frederick the Great of Prussia, when fire is set to 
sulphuric ether through a spark from the sword of one of the court 
cavaliers (see notes on Tyndall's second lecture, 1876, p. 80). 

It was likewise at this period Ludolf the younger demonstrated 
that the luminous barometer is made perfectly electrical by the 
motion of the quicksilver, first attracting and then repelling bits of 
paper, etc., suspended by the side of the tube, when it was enclosed 
in another tube out of which the air was extracted (Dantzig Memoirs, 
Vol. III. p. 495). 

A.D. 1744-1745. Waitz (Jacob Siegisnumd von), a German 
electrician, writes three essays in Dutch and one in French, and is 
given the prize of fifty ducats proposed by the Berlin Academy 
of Sciences for the best dissertation on the subject of electricity. 
In the following year he makes experiments, with Etienne Frai^ois 
du Tour, to show the destruction of electricity by flame, and, later 
on, with Prof. Georg Erhard Hamberger, he proves conclusively 
that the motion of quicksilver in a glass vessel out of which the air 
is extracted has the power of moving light bodies. Jean Nicolas 
Sebastien Allamand subsequently found that it was immaterial 
whether the vessel had air in it or not. 

REFERENCES. Tyndall's Notes on Lecture II, also Dantzig Memoirs, 
Vol. II. pp. 380, 426, and M. du Tour's " Recherches sur les Differents 
Mouvements de la Matiere Electriquc," Paris, 1760. 

A.D. 1745. Kratzenstein (Christian Gottlieb), Professor of 
Medicine at Halle, author of " Versuch einei Erklarung," etc., and 
of " Theoria Electricitatis," etc., is said to have first successfully 
employed electricity in the relief of sprains, malformations, etc. 


He observed that a man's pulse, which had beat eighty in a second 
before he was electrified, immediately after beat eighty-eight, and 
was soon increased to ninety-six. 

Kratzenstein is reported (Mary Somerville, " Physical Sciences," 
Section XVII.) to have made instruments which articulated many 
letters, words and even sentences, and somewhat similar in con- 
struction to those alluded to at A.D. 1620 (De Bergerac), and A.D, 
1641 (John Wilkins), some of which may truly be said to strongly 
suggest the modern phonograph. 

Albertus Magnus constructed, after thirty years of experimen- 
tation, a curious machine which sent forth distinct vocal sounds, 
at which the very learned scholastic philosopher Saint Thomas 
Aquinas (" Angel of the Schools ") was so much terrified that he 
struck the contrivance with his stick and broke it. Bishop Wilkins 
alludes to this machine as well as to a brazen head devised by Friar 
Bacon, which could be made to utter certain words (" Journal des 
Savants " for 1899, and J. S. Brewer, " F. Rog. Bacon," 1859, 
p. xci; also, " How Fryer Bacon made a Brasen Head to Speake," 
at pp. 13-14 of the " Famous Historic of Fryer Bacon published at 
London for Francis Groue "). 

Incidentally, it may be mentioned that Wolfgang von Kempelen, 
Aulic Counsellor to the Royal Chamber of the Domains of the 
Emperor of Germany, after witnessing some magnetic games shown 
to the Empress Maria Theresa at Vienna, constructed, during the 
year 1778, a speaking machine which " gave sounds as of a child 
three or four years of age, uttering distinct syllables and words " 
(Wm. Whewell, " Hist, of the Inductive Sciences," Vol. II. chap. vi. ; 
J. E. Montucla, " Hist, des Matliem," Vol. III. p. 813). 

La Nature, Paris, May 6, 1905, pp. 353-354, illustrates the 
speaking head of 1'Abbe Mical presented by him to the French 
Academy of Sciences July 2, 1783, and alludes to those of Albertus 
Magnus, Wolfgang von Kempelen, C. G. Kratzenstein, etc. 

Two more curious productions, in pretty much the same line as 
Bergerac's, can, with equal propriety, be inserted here. 

The first is taken from the April number, 1632, of the Courier 
Veritable, a little monthly publication in which novel fancies were 
frequently aired : " Captain Vosterloch has returned from his 
voyage to the southern lands, which he started on two years and a 
half ago, by order of the States-General. He tells us, among other 
things, that in passing through a strait below Magellan's, he landed 
in a country where Nature has furnished men with a kind of sponge 
which holds sounds and articulations as our sponges hold liquids. 
So, when they wish to dispatch a message to a distance, they speak 
to one of the sponges, ai:d then send it to their friends. They, 


receiving the sponges, take them up gently and press out the words 
that have been spoken into them, and learn by this admirable means 
all that their correspondents desire them to know/ 7 

The second is the production of one Thomas Ward, theological 
poet, who was born in 1640 and died in 1704. In the second canto 
of one of his poems occur these words : 

" As Walchius could words imprison 
In hollow canes so they, by reason, 
Judgment and great dexterity, 
Can bottle words as well as he ; 
And can from place to place convey them, 
Till, when they please, the reed shall say them ; 
Will suddenly the same discharge, 
And hail-shot syllables at large 
Will fly intelligibly out 
Into the ears of all about : 
So that the auditors may gain 
Their meaning from the breach of cane." 

REFERENCES. Priestley, " History," etc., 1775, p. 374, and Dantzig 
Memoirs, Vol. I. p. 294. 

A.D. 1745. Grummert (Gottfried Hemrich), of Biala, Poland, 
first observes the return of the electric light in vacuo. In order to 
ascertain whether an exhausted tube would give light when it was 
electrified, as well as when it was excited, he presented one eight 
inches long and a third of an inch wide, to the electrified conductor, 
and was surprised to find the light dart very vividly along the entire 
length of the tube. He likewise observed that some time after the 
tube had been presented to the conductor, and exposed to nothing 
but the air, it gave light again without being brought to an electrified 
body (see Dantzig Memoirs, Vol. I. p. 417). 

A.D. 1745. Dr. Miles (Rev. Henry), of Tooting, D.D. (1698- 
1763) reads, March 7, before the English Royal Society a paper 
indicating the possibility of kindling phosphorus by applying to 
it an excited electric without the approach of a conducting body. 
This gentleman's tube happening to be in excellent order upon this 
occasion, he observed, and doubtless was the first to notice, pencils 
of luminous rays, which he called coruscations, darting from the 
tube without the aid of any conductor approaching it. 

In a paper which Dr. Miles read before the same Society on the 
25th of January, 1746, he gave an account of other equally interest- 
ing experiments, one of which was the kindling of ordinary lamp 
spirits with a piece of black sealing wax excited by dry flannel or 
white and brown paper. 

REFERENCES. " Diet. Nat. Biog.," Sidney Lee, Vol. XXXVII. 
p. 378; Phil. Trans., Vol. XLIII. pp. 290, 441; Vol. XLIV, pp. 27, 53, 


78, 158, and the following abridgments : Hutton, Vol. IX. pp. 107, 
136* I9 1 * J 9^> 207, 213, 232; John Martyn, Vol. X. part ii. pp. 272, 
277 317' 319, 322-323, 325. 

A.D. 1745. This period was to witness a discovery which, 
according to Professor Tyndall, " throws all former ones in the shade" 
and which Dr. Priestley calls " the most surprising yet made in the 
whole business of electricity." This was the accumulation of the 
electric power in a glass phial, called the Leyden jar after the name 
of the place where the discovery was made. It was first announced 
in a letter to Von Kleist, dean of the cathedral of Kamin Cammin 
in Pomerania, dated the 4th of November, 1745, and addressed 
to Dr. Lieberkiihn, who communicated it to the Berlin Academy. 
The following is an extract : " When a nail or a piece of thick brass 
wire is put into a small apothecary's phial and electrified, remark- 
able effects follow; but the phial must be very dry or warm; I 
commonly rub it over beforehand with a finger, on which I put 
some pounded chalk. If a little mercury, or a few drops of spirit 
of wine, be put into it, the experiment succeeds the better. As 
soon as this phial and nail are removed from the electrifying glass, 
or the prime conductor to which it has been exposed is taken away, 
it throws out a pencil of flame so long that, with this burning machine 
in my hand, I have taken above sixty steps in walking about my 
room ; when it is electrified strongly I can take it into another room 
and there fire spirits of wine with it. If while it is electrifying I 
put my finger, or a piece of gold which I hold in my hand, to the 
nail, I receive a shock which stuns my arms and shoulders." 

It is said that Cunaeus, rich burgess of Leyden, accidentally 
made the same discovery in January 1746. It appears that Pieter 
Van Musschenbroek, the celebrated professor, while experimenting 
with his colleagues, Cunaeus and Allamand, observed that excited 
bodies soon lost their electricity in the open air, attributable to the 
vapours and effluvia carried in the atmosphere, and he conceived 
the idea that the electricity might be retained by surrounding the 
excited bodies with others that did not conduct electricity. For 
this purpose he chose water, the most readily procured non-electric, 
and placed some in a glass bottle. No important results were ob- 
tained until Cunaeus, who was holding the bottle, attempted to 
withdraw the wire which connected with the conductor of a powerful 
electric machine. He at once received a severe shock in his arms 
and breast, as did also the others upon renewing the experiment. 
In giving an account of it to the great scientist, Rene de Reaumur, 
Musschenbroek remarked : " For the whole kingdom of France, I 
would not take a second shock/' Allamand states that when he 
himself took the shock " he lost the use of his breath for some 


minutes, and then felt so intense a pain along his right arm that he 
feared permanent injury from it." 

In his " Cours Elementaire de Physique/' Musschenbroek de- 
scribes one of the peculiar electrical machines then being constructed 
by the well-known London instrument maker, George Adams, and 
a cut of it can be seen at p. 353, Vol. I. of the translation made by 
Sigaud de la Fond at Paris during 1769. Another of Adams' 
machines is described and illustrated at p. 126 of the French trans- 
lation of Cavallo's " Complete Treatise/' published at Paris in 1785. 

The invention of the Leyden jar is claimed with equal pertinacity 
for Kleist, Musschenbroek and Cunaeus. While it is necessarily 
conceded that Von Kleist first published his discovery, it cannot be 
denied that his explanation of it is so obscure as, for the time, to 
have been of no practical use to others. It is stated by Priestley : 
" Notwithstanding Mr. Kleist immediately communicated an account 
of this famous experiment (which indeed it is evident he has but 
imperfectly described) to Mr. Winckler, at Leipzig, Mr. Swiettiki, 
of Denmark, Mr. Kruger, of Halle, and to the professors of the 
Academy of Lignitz, as well as to Dr. Lieberkilhn, of Berlin, above 
mentioned, they all returned him word that the experiment did not 
succeed with them. Mr. Gralath, of Dantzig, was the first with 
whom it answered ; but this was not till after several fruitless trials, 
and after receiving further instructions from the inventor. The 
Abbe Nollet had information of this discovery, and, in consequence 
of it says, in a letter to Mr. Samuel Wolfe, of the Society of Dantzig, 
dated March 9, 1746, that the experiment at Leyden was upon 
principles similar to that made with a phial half full of water and a 
nail dipped in it; and that this discovery would have been called 
the Dantzig experiment if it had not happened to have got the name 
of that of Leyden." 

In the thirty-eighth volume of the Philosophical Transactions, 
No. 432, p. 297, is given an abstract of a letter (dated Utrecht, 
January 15, 1733, 0. S.), from Petrus Van Musschenbroek, M.D., 
F.R.S., to Dr. J. T. Desaguliers, concerning experiments made on 
the Indian Magnetic Sand, chiefly gathered along the seashore in 
Persia. After detailing his many observations, Van Musschenbroek 
asks : " And, now, what can this sand be ? Is it an imperfect 
magnet, or Subtile Powder of it, which, when it is grown up into a 
greater lump, makes the vulgar Loadstones ? So I conjectured at 
first ; but when I found by experience that common Loadstones, 
exposed to the fire, according to some of the methods above- 
mention 'd, did rather lose of their force than gain, I alter 'd my 
opinion ; and now confess that I have not yet penetrated into the 
knowledge of the nature of this matter." 


REFERENCES. Dalibard, " Histoire Abrcgee," p. 33; Dantzig 
Memoirs, Vol. I. pp. 407, 409, 411 ; Johann Gottlob Kruger, " Dissert, 
de Elect," Helmstadt, 1756 (Poggendorff, I. p. 1323); Priestley, 1777, 
" The Hist, and Pres. State of Electricity," pp. 82-84 ; Opuscoli Scelti, 
4to, xviii, 55 ; Pierre Massuet, " Essais," Leide, 1751 ; Musschenbroek's 
" Epitome elementorum," etc., 1726, " Tentamina Experimentorum 
Naturalium," 1731, and his " Disertatio Physica experimentalis de 
Magnete," as well as his " Elementa Physical," 1734, and the " Intro- 
ductio ad Philosophiam Naturalem," 1762, the last-named two works 
being greatly amplified editions of the " Epitome." For Musschenbroek 
Musschenbroek consult also Phil. Trans., Vol. XXXII. p. 370; 
Vol. XXXVII. pp. 357, 408, also the following abridgments : Baddam, 
1745, Vol. VIII. p. 42; Reid and Gray, Vol. VI. p. 161 (Musschenbroek 
to Desaguliers) ; Hutton, Vol. VII. pp. 105, 647 (magnetic sand) ; Eamcs 
and Marty n, Vol. VI. part ii. p. 255 ; John Martyn, Vol. VIII. p. 737 
(magnetic sand). For this magnetic sand, consult also Mr. Butter- 
field's article in Phil. Trans, for 1698, p. 336 and in the abridgments of 
Hutton, Vol. IV. p. 310. 

A.D. 1745. Watson (William), M.D., F.R.S., an eminent English 
scientist, bears " the most distinguished name in this period of the 
history of electricity." His first letters, treating of this science, 
are addressed to the Royal Society between March 28 and October 
24, 1745, and, on the 6th of February and the 30th of October, 1746, 
he communicated other similar papers to the same Society, all 
which, like his subsequent treatises, are to be found in the 
Philosophical Transactions. 

Dr. Watson, like most scientists at the time, made numerous 
experiments with the Leyden jar, and he was the first to observe 
the flash of light attending its discharge. He says : " When the 
phial is well electrified, and you apply your hand thereto, you see 
the fire flash from the outside of the glass wherever you touch it, 
and it crackles in your hand." It is to him that we owe the double 
coating of the jar, as well as the plus and minus of electricity. 

He also shows conclusively that glass globes and tubes do not 
possess in themselves the electrical power, but only serve " as the 
first movers or determiners of that power," and he also proves 
that the electric fluid takes the shortest course, passing through 
the substance of the best medium of connection and not along its 
surface. This, he demonstrated by discharging a phial through 
a wire covered with a mixture of wax and resin. 

In order to ascertain the velocity of the electric fluid from the 
Leyden phial and the distance at which it could be transmitted 
(John Wood, at A.D. 1726), Watson directed a series of experiments 
upon a very grand scale, with the assistance of Martin Folkes, 
President of the Royal Society, Lord Charles Cavendish, Dr. Bevis, 
Mr. Graham, Dr. Birch, Peter Daval and Messrs. Trembley, Ellicott, 
Robins and Short. On the I4th and i8th of July, 1747, they 
experimented upon a wire carrying the electricity from the Thames 


bank at Lambeth to the opposite bank at Westminster, across 
Westminster Bridge, and, on the 24th of July, at the New River, 
Stoke Newington, they sent a shock through 800 feet of water and 
2000 feet of land, as well as through 2800 feet of land and 8000 
feet of water. Other experiments followed on the 28th of July 
and the 5th of August, as well as on the i4th of August of the same 
year, proving the instantaneous transmission of the fluid; while 
a year later, August 5, 1748, additional observations were made, 
through 12,276 feet of wire, at Shooter's Hill, showing again that 
the time occupied in the passage of the electricity was " altogether 
inappreciable." Regarding these experiments, Prof.Musschenbroek 
wrote to Dr. Watson, " Magnificentissimis tuis experiment! s super asti 
conatm omnium." 

Watson's experiments were repeated, notably by Franklin, 
across the Schuylkill at Philadelphia, in 1748 ; by Deluc, across the 
Lake of Geneva, in 1749; and by Winckler, at Leipzig, in 1750. 
It is said that Lemonnier (A,D. 1746) produced shocks at Paris 
through 12,789 feet of wire and that Betancourt (A.D. 1795) dis- 
charged electric jars through a distance of twenty-six miles. 

To Dr. Watson is also due the first demonstration of the passage 
of electricity through a vacuum. Noad tells iis that he caused 
the spark from his conductor to pass in the form of coruscations of 
a bright silver hue through an exhausted tube three feet in length, 
and he discharged a jar through a vacuum interval of ten inches 
in the form of "a mass of very bright embodied fire/' These 
demonstrations were repeated and varied by Canton, Smeaton and 

His experiments in firing gunpowder, hydrogen, etc., by the 
electric spark, are detailed at p. 78 of Priestley's " History," etc., 
London, 1775. 

Watson was rewarded with the Copley medal for his researches 
in electricity, which brought him also honorary degrees from two 
German universities. He was knighted in 1786, one year before 
his death. 

REFERENCES. " Watson's Experiments and Observations on 
Electricity," 1745, also his " Account of the Experiments made by some 
gentlemen of the Royal Society," etc., 1748; Phil. Trans., Vol. XLIIJ. 

p. 481 ; Vol. XLIV. pp. 41, 388, 695, 704; Vol. XLV. pp. 49-120, 491- 
496; Vol. XLVI. p. 348; Vol. XLVII. pp. 202, 236, 362, 567; Vol. 
XLVIII. p. 765 ; Vol. LI. p. 394 (lyncurium of the ancients) ; Vol. LIII. 

p. 10 ; also the following abridgments : Hutton, Vol. IX. pp. 151, 195, 
308, 368, 408, 410, 440, 553 ; Vol. X. pp. 12, 189, 197, 227, 233, 242, 303, 
372-379, 525 ; Vol. XI. p. 419 (lyncurium of the ancients), 580, 660, 679 ; 
Vol. XII. p. 127; John Martyn, Vol. X. part ii. pp. 279-280, 290, 294, 
3 2 9> 339 347 3^8, 47 4 IO> See likewise, Scientific American Supple- 
ment of Oct. 5, 1889, No. 718, pp. n, 471, for an interesting engraving of 
Dr. Watson's experiment made through the water of the Thames, as 


well as for a detailed account of Lemonnier's experiment above referred 
to. For Mr. A. Trembley, consult Phil. Trans., Vol. XLIV. p. 58, and 
John Martyn's abridgments, Vol. X. part ii. p. 321. 

A.D. 1746. Lemonnier (Pierre Claude Charles), a distinguished 
savant, who was member of the French Academy as adjunct 
geometrician before he had attained his twenty-first year and became 
foreign member of the English Royal Society three years later, 
was the first scientist who drew electricity from the narrow domain 
of the laboratory. 

He confirmed the result previously obtained by Grey (A.D. 1720) 
that electric attraction is not proportioned to the mass or quantity 
of matter in bodies, but only to the extent of their surface, length 
having greater effect than breadth (Phil. Trans., Vol. XLIV for 
1746, p. 290; Snow Harris, "Treatise on Frict. Elect./' London, 
1867, p. 239, and " Hist, de 1'Acad.," 1746). He found that an 
anvil weighing two hundred pounds gives but an inconsiderable 
spark, while the spark from a tin speaking-trumpet eight or nine 
feet long, but weighing only ten pounds, is almost equal to the 
shock of the Leyden phial. A solid ball of lead, four inches in 
diameter, gives a spark of the same force as that obtained from 
a thin piece of lead of like superficies bent in the form of a hoop. 
He took a thin and long piece of lead, and noticed that when it 
was electrified in its whole length it gave a very strong spark, but 
a very small one when it was rolled into a lump (Ac. Par., 1746, M. 
p. 369). It had likewise been shown by Le Roi and D'Arcy that 
a hollow sphere accepted the same charge when empty as when 
filled with mercury, which latter increased its weight sixtyfold; 
all proving the influence of surface as distinguished from that of 
mass (Tyndall, Notes on Lecture IV). 

Lemonnier discovered that electricity is ever present in the 
atmosphere, that it daily increases in quantity from sunrise till 
about three or four o'clock in the afternoon, diminishing till the 
fall of dew, when it once more increases for a while, and finally 
diminishes again before midnight, when it becomes insensible. 
He observed a continual diminution of electricity as the rain began 
to fall, and he says : " When the wire was surrounded with drops 
of rain, it was observed that only some of them were electrical, 
which was remarkable by the conic figure they had; whilst the 
others remained round as before. It was also perceived that the 
electrical and non-electrical drops succeeded almost alternately; 
this made us call to mind a very singular phenomenon which 
happened some years before, to five peasants who were passing 
through a cornfield, near Frankfort upon the Oder, during a thunder- 
storm ; when the lightning killed the first the third and the fifth of 


them, without injuring the second or the fourth " (Phil. Trans., 
Vol. XLVII. p. 550). 

REFERENCES. Le Monnicr, " Lois du Magnetismc," Paris, 1776- 
1778; Phil. Trans., Vol. XUV. p. 247; Vol. XLVIII. part i. p. 203; 
"Journal clcs S9avans," Vol. CX11 for 1737, p. 73; also Hutton's 
abridgments, Vol. IX. pp. 275, 308, 368, 591 (biogr.) ; John Martyn's 
abridgments, Vol. X. part ii. pp. 329-348;" " Philosophical Magazine/' 
Vol. VI. for j8oo, p. 181, " Some Account of the Late P. C. Le Monnier," 
1715 1799; " Memoires de 1'Institut Nat. cles Sc. et des Arts," Hist. 
An. IX. p. TOI ; AUmoires de I' A cad. Roy ale des Sciences, 1746, pp. 14-24, 
447, 671-696; 1752, Tome I. pp. 9-17, Tome JI. 233-243, 346-362; 
1770, p. 459; Bertholon, " Elcc. du Corps Humain," 1786, Vol. I. 
pp. 10-14; Harris, " Frict. Elec.," p. 239; Sc. American Supplement, 
for Oct. 5, 1889, No. 718, pp. u, 471. See also reports of the experiments 
of G. B/Beccaria, G. F. Gardini (" De inilcxu," etc., ss. 50, 51), Andrew 
Crosse and others at " Bibl. Britan. Sc. et Arts," 1814, Vol. LVL p. 524. 

A.D. 1746. Bevis (John), English astronomer and Secretary of 
the Royal Society, first suggested to Dr. Watson the external coating 
of the Leydcn jar with tinfoil or sheet-lead, and was likewise the 
first to observe that the force of the charge increases as larger jars 
are employed, but not in proportion to the quantity of water they 
contain. As water only played the part of a conductor, he rightly 
thought that metal would do equally well, and lie therefore filled 
three jars with leaden shot instead of with water. When the metallic 
connection was made it was found that the discharge from three 
jars was greater than that from two and the discharge from two 
much greater than that from one. This showed that the seat of 
the electric force is the surface of the metal and the glass, and proves 
that the force of the charge is in proportion to the quantity of 
coated surface. 

Thus to Dr. Bevis belongs the credit of having constructed the 
first electric battery, although the honour has been claimed by the 
friends of Daniel Gralath (A.D. 1747). 

REFERENCES. Phil. Trans., abridged, Vol. X. pp. 374, 377; Wilson, 
" Treatise," London, 1752, Prop. XVII. p. 107. 

A.D. 1746. Le Cat (Claude Nicolas), a physician of Rouen, 
observed, when suspending several pieces of leaf gold at his con- 
ductor, that they hung at different distances according to their 
sizes, the smallest pieces placing themselves nearest the conductor 
and the largest farthest from it. 

Le Cat (1700-1768) became celebrated for his surgical opera- 
tions and succeeded in canying off all the first prizes offered by the 
Royal Academy of Surgeons between the years 1734 and 1738 
inclusively. Consult his different works named at p. 292 of Ronalds' 


"Catalogue"; " Histoire de 1'Electricite," pp. 84 and 85; " Bio- 
graphie Generate," Vol. XXX. pp. 179-182. 

A.D. 1746. Maim bray (M.), of Edinburgh, electrified two 
myrtle trees, during the entire month of October 1746, and found 
that they put forth small branches and blossoms sooner than other 
shrubs of the same kind which had not been electrified. This result 
was confirmed by the Abbe Nollet, who tilled two pots with 
vegetating seeds and found that the pot which he had constantly 
electrified for fifteen consecutive days put forth earlier sprouts as 
well as more numerous and longer shoots than did the other. 

Like experiments were at the same time carried on with equal 
success by M. Jallabert and M. Boze, as well as by the Abbe 
Menon, Principal of the College of Bueil at Angers, France. The 
last named also found that electricity increases the insensible 
perspiration of animals. He chose cats, pigeons and chaffinches, 
and observed after they were electrified, that one cat was sixty-five 
or seventy grains lighter than the other, the pigeon from thirty-five 
to thirty-eight grains, and the chaffinch had lost six or seven grains. 
He also electrified a young person between the ages of twenty and 
thirty, for five hours and found a loss in weight of several ounces. 

With reference to the effect of electricity on different varieties 
of growing plants, a paper in Boston not long ago published the 
following : 

" In the last few years some very interesting experiments in 
gardening by electricity have been made by Prof. Selim Lemstrom, 
of the University of Helsingfors. These have been carried out both 
upon the potted plants in the hot-house and upon plants in the open 
field, the insulated wires in the latter case being stretched upon 
poles over the plot of ground, and provided with a point for each 
square metre of area. The current has been supplied by Holtz 
machines run from eight to eighteen hours daily, the positive pole 
being connected with the network of wires and the negative with 
a zinc plate buried in the ground. The electric influence was 
scarcely perceptible in the growing plants, but was very marked 
in the yield of many species, especially of barley and wheat, of which 
the crop was increased by half in some cases. In the hot-house 
the maturity of strawberries was greatly advanced. The results 
have shown that plants may be divided into two groups : one, the 
development of which is favoured by electricity, comprising wheat, 
rye, barley, oats, red and white beets, parsnips, potatoes, celeriac, 
beans, raspberries, strawberries and leeks; and the other, whose 
development is more or less interfered with by electricity, including 


peas, carrots, kohlrabi, rutabagas, turnips, white cabbages and 
tobacco. The more fertile the soil, and consequently the more 
vigorous the vegetation, the greater has been the excess of the crop 
under electric influence. Prof. Lemstrom's experiments up to 
1887 were carried on in Finland, but he has since repeated his work 
in France, and demonstrated that the electric influence is the same in 
any climate, though likely to be injurious under a scorching sun/ 1 

REFERENCES. Nollct, " Recherches sur TElectricit^," pp. 366, 
382; Phil. Trans., abridged, Vol. X. p. 384; Electrical Review, London, 
June 5, 1891, p. 707. 

A.D. 1746. Knight (Gowan or Gowin), F.R.S., an English 
physician, is the first to make very powerful steel magnets. The 
method, which he long succeeded in keeping secret, was described 
after his death, in the Phil. Trans, for 1746-1747, Vol. XLIV. It 
consists of placing two magnets in the same straight line, with 
their opposite poles close to or very near each other, and in laying 
under them the bar to be magnetized after having it tempered at 
a cherry-red heat. The magnets are then drawn apart in opposite 
directions along the bar, so that the south pole of one magnet 
passes over the north polar half, and the north pole of the other 
magnet passes over the south polar half of the bar. 

This was how Dr. Knight made the bars of the two great magnets 
of the Royal Society. Each magnet contained two hundred and 
forty bars, fifteen inches long, one inch wide and half an inch thick. 
Dr. Robison described, in 1800, the effect of pressing together the 
dissimilar poles of the two magnets, and, thirty years later, Prof. 
Faraday, upon placing a soft iron cylinder, one foot long and three- 
quarters of an inch in diameter, across the dissimilar poles, found 
that he required a force of one hundred pounds to break down the 
attractive power. 

Previously to Dr. Knight's discovery, the method of making 
artificial magnets most in use was by simply rubbing the bar to be 
magnetized upon one of the poles of a natural magnet in a plane at 
right angles to the line joining its two poles. 

Another secret of Dr. Knight was also, after his death, made 
known to the Royal Society by its secretary, Mr. Benjamin Wilson. 
It was the mode of making artificial paste magnets. He collected 
a large quantity of iron filings, which he cleansed and made into 
a fine powder under water and afterward dried and mixed, preferably 
with linseed oil. This was baked into cakes, which were magnetized 
by placing them between the ends of his magazine of artificial 

To Dr. Knight was given the first English patent in the Class of 


Electricity and Magnetism. It bears date June 10, 1766, No. 850, 
and is for the construction of " Compasses so as to prevent them 
being affected by the motion of the ship," etc. 

REFERENCES. Phil. Trans., Vol. XLIII. pp. 161, 361; Vol. XLIV. 
p. 656; Vol. XLIX. p. 51; Vol. LXVI. p. 591; C. R. Weld, " Hist, of 
Roy. Soc.," Vol. I. p. 511; Noad, " Manual," 1859, p. 593; Sturgeon, 
" Sc. Researches," Bury, 1850, p. 249; also the abridgments by Hutton, 
Vol. TX. pp. 71, 74, 122, 390 (Folkes), 653; Vol. X. pp. 64, 67; Vol. 
XIV. pp. 117, 480; and by John Martyn, Vol. X. part ii. pp. 678-698. 

A.D. 1746. Gravesande (Wilhelm Jacob), celebrated Dutch 
mathematician and natural philosopher (1688-1742), whose family 
name was Storen Van 'Sgravesande, is the author of " Elements de 
physique demontres mathematiqucment. . . . ou introduction a la 
philosophic Newtonienne," which was translated from the Latin 
and published at Leyden in 1746. 

At p. 87 of the second volume of the last-named work he gives 
a description of an electrical machine constructed on the plan of 
that of Hauksbee. It consisted merely of a crystal globe, which 
was mounted upon a copper stand, and against which was pressed 
the hand of the operator while it was made to revolve rapidly by 
means of a large wheel. 

Gravesande taught publicly on the Continent the philosophy 
of Newton, and, by so doing, was one of the first to bring about a 
revolution in the domain of physical sciences generally. His 
original " Physices Elementa Mathematical as well as his " Philo- 
sophise Newtonianae," etc., and " Introductio ad Philosophiam," 
etc., were respectively published at Leyden in 1720, 1723 and 1736. 

REFERENCE. Houzcau et Lancaster, " Bibl. Gen6rale," Vol. II. 
p. 252. 

A.D. 1746. Nolle! (Jean Antoine), 'a distinguished French 
philosopher (1700-1770), to whom was given the title of Abbe while 
holding deacon's orders, is the first in France to make experiments 
with the Leyden jar. 

While in Paris he applied himself to electrical studies in company 
with Charles Dufay (already noticed at A.D. 1733), and made such 
ingenious experiments that Rene de Reaumur allowed him the free 
use of his extensive apparatus and laboratory. During the month 
of April 1746, he transmitted, in the presence of the French King, 
an electrical shock from a small phial through a chain of one hundred 
and eighty of the Royal Guards, and at the Carthusian Convent, not 
long afterward, he sent a shock through a line of monks stretched 
a distance of over a mile, causing them all to experience instantane- 
ously the same sensation. 

Nollet's work, " Essai sur 1'electricite des corps/' was originally 


published at Paris in 1746. He was the first to observe that pointed 
bodies electrified give out streams of light (the smallest points 
displaying " brushes of electric light "), but that they do not exhibit 
as powerful indications of electricity as are shown by blunt bodies. 
He also found that glass and other non-conductors are more strongly 
excited in air than in vacuo ; that the electric spark is more diffuse 
and unbroken in vacuo ; and that an excited tube loses none of its 
electricity by being placed in the focus of a concave mirror when the 
sunlight is therein concentrated. 

His experiments upon the evaporation of fluids by electricity, 
as well as upon the electrification of capillary tubes full of water 
(observed also by Bozo), and upon the electrification of plants and 
animals, are detailed in his " Recherches," etc., pp. 327, 351, 354- 
356, while his observations upon the electrical powers of different 
kinds of glass are given in the sixth volume of the " Lecons de 
Physique Experiment ale," issued in 1764. 

As has been truly said, it is no easy matter to form an adequate 
idea of Nollet's theory of electricity, which was opposed at the 
time by almost all the eminent electrical philosophers of Europe. 
He asserted that when an electric is excited, electricity flows to it 
from all quarters, and when it is thus affluent, it drives light bodies 
before it. Hence the reason why excited bodies attract. When 
the electricity is effluent the light bodies are of course driven from 
the electric, which in that condition appears to repel. He therefore 
believed every electric to bo possessed of two different kinds of 
pores, one for the emission of the electric matter, and the other for 
its reception. 

Nollet is the first one who published the close relationship 
existing between lightning and the electric spark. This he did 
during the year 1748, in the fourth volume of his " Lemons," already 
alluded to and from which the following is extracted : " If any one 
should undertake to prove, as a clear consequence of the phenomenon, 
that thunder is in the hands of nature what electricity is in ours 
that those wonders which we dispose at our pleasure are only 
imitations on a small scale of those grand effects which terrify us, 
and that both depend on the same mechanical agents ... I 
confess that this idea, well supported, would please me much. . . . 
The universality of the electric matter, the readiness of its actions, 
its instrumentality and its activity in giving fire to other bodies, 
its property of striking bodies, externally and internally, even to 
their smallest parts . . . begin to make me believe that one might, 
by taking electricity for the model, form to one's self, in regard to 
thunder and lightning, more perfect and more probable ideas than 
hitherto proposed/' 

1755' P- 293; 1761, p. 244; 1762, pp. 137, 270; 1764, pp. 408-409; 
1766, p. 323; " Lecons," eighth edition, Vol. IV. p. 315, Phil. Trans., 
Vol. XLV. p. 187; Vol. XLVr. p. 368; Vol. XLVII. p. 553; also the 


For a memoir treating of the cause of thunder and lightning, 
written by the Rev. Father de Lozeran de Fech, of Perpignan, 
the Bordeaux Academy of Sciences had in 1726 awarded him its 
annual prize ; and the same institution conferred a similar award, 
in August 1750, upon M. Bergeret, a physician of Dijon, whose 
memoir admitted the close analogy between lightning and electricity. 

REFERENCES. Ronalds' "Catalogue," pp. 369-371; Jean Morin, 
" Replique," Paris, 1749 ; A. H. Paulian, " Conjectures," 1868 ; " Abreg< 
dcs transactions philosophiques," Vol. X. p. 336; " Mdmoires de mathe- 
matiquc," etc , pour 1746, p. 22 ; " Journal des S9avans," Vol. CXVII. 
for I73Q, pp. 111-115, and Vol. CXLII for 1747, pp. 248-265 ; " Medical 
Electricity," by Dr. H. Lewis Jones, Philad., 1904, p. 2 ; " Me" moires dc 
1'Acad. Royale des Sciences" pour 1745, p. 107; 1746, p. i; 1747, 
pp. 24, 102, 149, 207; 1748, p. 164; 1749, p. 444; 1753, pp. 429, 475; 


. . . . . . . . . also 

following abridgments : Hutton, Vol. X. pp. 20, 295, 372-379, 
(Dr. Birch); Vol. XI. p. 580; John Martyn, Vol. X. part ii. pp. 277- 
333, 382 (Folkcs), 414. See the experiments of Eticnne Francois du 
Tour, " Sur la manidre dont la flamme agit sur les corps elcctriqucs," in 
a letter addressed by him to Nollet in 1745, and in " Mem. de Mathem. 
et Phys.," Vol. II. p. 246, Paris, 1755; also Zantcdeschi and Faraday 
on the " Magnetic Condition of Flame" (Faraday's " Expcr. Res.," Vol. 1 II. 
pp. 490-493). 

A.D. 1746. Wilson (Benjamin) (1721-1788), Secretary to the 
Royal Society, writes his " Essay toward an explication of the 
phenomena of Electricity deduced from the ether of Sir Isaac 
Newton." In the chapter of Priestley's " History " treating of 
the Theories of Electricity, he says : " With some, and particularly 
Mr. Wilson, the chief agent in all electrical operations is Sir Isaac 
Newton's ether, which is more or less dense in all bodies in pro- 
portion to the smallness of their pores, except that it is much denser 
in sulphureous and unctuous bodies. To this ether are ascribed 
the principal phenomena of attraction and repulsion, whereas the 
light, the smell, and other sensible qualities of the electric fluid are 
referred to the grosser particles of bodies, driven from them by 
the forcible action of this ether. Many phenomena in electricity 
are also attempted to be explained by means of a subtile medium, 
at the surface of all bodies, which is the cause of the refraction and 
reflection of the rays of light, and also resist the entrance and exit 
of this ether. This medium, he says, extends to a small distance 
from the body, and is of the same nature with what is called the 
electric fluid. 1 On the surface of conductors this medium is rare 

1 Just here we may refer to the fact for it is a fact that the electrical 
energy transmitted over a line, which may be many miles in length, really 
does not travel by the wire connecting the two points. It travels in the 
ether surrounding the wire. The wire itself is, in fact, the guiding core of the 
disturbances in the ether which proceecj outward in all directions to unlimited 


and easily admits the passage of the electric fluid, whereas on the 
surface of electrics it is dense and resists it. This medium is rarefied 
by heat, which converts non-conductors into conductors." 

At pp. 71 and 88, 1746 edition, and at p. 88, Prop. XI. of the 
1752 edition of this same " Essay," Wilson says that during the 
year 1746 he discovered a method of giving the shock of the Leyden 
jar to any particular part of the body without affecting any other 
portion; that he increased the shock from the jar by plunging it 
into water, thereby giving it a coating of water on the outside as 
high as it was filled on the inside ; and that the accumulation of 
electricity in the Leyden jar is always in proportion to the thinness 
of the glass, the surface of the glass and that of the non-electrics 
in contact with the inside and outside thereof. 

.It was in this same year, 1746, that Wilson first observed the 
lateral shock or return stroke, which was not, however, explained 
until Lord Mahon, third Earl of Stanhope, published his " Principles 
of Electricity," in 1779. 

On the I3th of November, 1760, a paper of Mr. Wilson's was read 
before the Royal Society, in which he detailed several of his in- 
genious experiments on tjie plus and minus of electricity, and showed 
that these can be produced at pleasure by carefully attending to 
the form of bodies, their sudden or gradual removal and the degrees 
of electrifying. He had previously noticed that when two electrics 
are rubbed together, the body whose substance is hardest and 
electric power strongest is always electrified positively and the other 
negatively. Rubbing the tourmaline and amber together he pro- 
duced a plus electricity on both sides of the stone and a minus 
on the amber; but, rubbing the diamond and the tourmaline, both 
sides of the tourmaline were electrified minus and the diamond plus. 
When insulated silver and glass were rubbed, the silver became 
minus and the glass plus. 

He further observed that when directing a stream of air against 
a tourmaline, a pane of glass or a piece of amber, these were electrified 
plus on both sides. Prof. Faraday subsequently showed that no 
electrical effect is produced in these cases unless the air is either damp 
or holds dry powders in suspension, the electricity being produced 

distances. The guiding core or conducting wire is needed to focalize or 
direct the delivery of the energy. This curious conclusion of science, then, 
that the power from the power-station wire travels in the space around the 
wires led from the station, is one of the results of recent electrical studies, 
just as with light those studies begun by Maxwell and Hertz have led to the 
inevitable conclusion that the light of the candle, the light of a kerosene lamp, 
and the light of a gas burner are all in essence electrical phenomena, as are all 
forms of radiation in the ether (" Electricity During the Nineteenth 
Century," Prof. Elihu Thomson, Washington, 1901). 


by the friction of particles of water in the one case and by the 
particles of powder in the other. Sir David Brewster, who thus 
mentions the latter fact, likewise singles out two more of Mr. 
Wilson's observations, viz. that when a stick of sealing-wax is 
broken across or when a dry, warm piece of wood is rent asunder, 
one of the separated surfaces becomes vitreously and the other 
resinously electrified. 

REFERENCES. DC La Rive, "Electricity," Vol. I. p. 203; Wilson, 
" Treatise on Electricity " ; Wilson and Hoadley, " Observations on a 
Series of Electrical Experiments "; Phil. Trans., Vol. XLVIII. p. 347; 
Vol. XLIX. p. 682; Vol. LI. part i. pp. 83, 308, 331, part ii. p. 896; 
Vol. LIII. pp. 436, etc.; Vol. LXVI1I. p. 999; Vol. LXIX. p. 51 ; also 
Hutton's abridgments: Vol. X. p. 420; Vol. XL pp. 15, 396, 504; 
Vol. XII. pp. 44, 147; Vol. XIII. p. 374; Vol. XIV. pp. 334, 337, 458, 
480; "The Electrical Researches of the Hon. Henry Cavendish," 
Cambridge, 1879, No. 125; L. E. Kaemtz, " Lchrbuch dcr Meteor," 
Halle, 1832, Vol. II. p. 395. 

A.D. 1746. Ellicott (John), of Chester, suggests a method of 
estimating the exact force of the electric charge contained in the 
Leyden jar by its power to raise a weight in one scale of a balance 
while the other scale is held over and attracted by the electrified 
body. This was the principle upon which Mr. Gralath constructed 
the electrometer shown in Dantzig Memoirs, Vol. I. p. 525. 

With reference to the experiments of Boze (A.D. 1738) and of 
Nollet (A.D. 1746) made with capillary tubes, he says that the 
siphon, though electrified, will only deliver the water by drops if 
the basin containing the water is also electrified. He explains 
Nollet's observation, that the electric matter issues more sensibly 
from the point at the extremity of the conductor, by saying that 
the effluvia, in rushing from the globe along the conductor, as they 
approach the point are brought nearer together, and therefore are 
denser there, and if the light be owing to the density and velocity 
of the effluvia it will be visible at the point and nowhere else. 
Ellicott 's theory of electricity is founded upon the following data : 
(i) electrical phenomena are produced by effluvia ; (2) these 
effluvia repel each other ; (3) they are attracted by all other matter. 
If the word fluid is substituted for effluvia, these data absolutely 
agree with those adopted by ^Epinus and Cavendish, forming the 
basis of the only satisfactory theory of electricity hitherto proposed. 

REFERENCES. Boulanger, " Traite de la Cause et des phenomdnes 
de r&ectriciteV' Paris, 1750, p. 324; Phil. Trans, for 1746, Vol. XLIV. 
p. 96, and for 1748, Vol. XLV. pp. 195-224, 313; also the abridgments 
of John Martyn, Vol. X. part ii. pp. 324, 386, 389, 394 ; Hutton, Vol. IX. 
P- 475- 

A.D. 1747. Pivati (Johannes Francisco), a Venetian physician, 
relates in his " Lettere della elettricita medica," that if odorous 


substances are confined in glass vessels and the latter excited, the 
odours and other medical virtues will transpire through the glass, 
infect the atmosphere of a conductor, and communicate the virtue 
they may possess to all persons in contact therewith ; also, that those 
substances held in the hands of persons electrified will communicate 
their virtue to them so that medicines can thus be made to operate 
without being taken in the usual manner. 

This appears to have been likewise asserted especially by M. 
Veratti, of Bologna, and by M. Bianchi, of Turin ; also by Prof. 
Winckler, of Leipzig, who satisfied himself of the power of electricity 
on sulphur, cinnamon, and on balsam of Peru even at a distance. 

By the above-named means of applying the electric fluid Pivati 
is reported to have effected cures of ordinary pains and aches, and 
to have even relieved of gout the old Bishop Donadoni, of Sebcnico, 
who had long been a sufferer, and who was at the time seventy-five 
years qf age. This pretended transudation and its medical effects 
could not, however, be verified, even with the directions asked of 
and given by Prof. Winckler, when very careful and exhaustive 
experiments were made, on the I2th of June, 1751, at the house of 
Dr. Watson, in presence of the president and other officers as well 
as friends of the Royal Society. Nor could Dr. Bianchini, Professor 
of Medicine at Venice, succeed any better. At a later date, Franklin 
asserted that it was impossible to combine the virtues of medicines 
with the electric fluid. 

REFERENCES. Franklin's Letters, p. 82; Phil. Trans, for 1748, 
Vol. XLV. pp. 262, 270; for 1750, Vol. XLVI. pp. 348, 368; for 1751, 
Vol. XLV1I. p. 231; for 1753, Vol. XLVIII. pp. 399, 406, and Vol. X. 
abridged, pp. 400-403. 

A.D. 1747. Louis (Antoine), eminent French surgeon (1723- 
1792), publishes "Observations sur I'electricitcV' of which the first 
issue appeared in 1747 an d wherein he indicates the employment of 
electricity in medical practice. This he did again in his " Recueils/' 
upon a more pretentious scale, six years later, 1753. 

REFERENCES. N. F. J. Eloy, " Diet, de la Medecine," Mons, 1778, 
Vol. III. p. 206; " Gen. Biog. Diet." of Alex. Chalmers, 1815, Vol. XX. 
p. 419; licefer, " Nouv. Biog. G6n.," Vol. XXXI. p. 1033; Qu6rard, 
"La France Littraire " ; "Biog. Univ.," de Michaud, Vol. XXV. 
PP- 319-3^5. 

A.D. 1747. Gralath (Daniel) publishes in the Dantzig Memoirs 
his " Geschichte der Electricitat." 

He is the first to construct a Leyden phial with a long, narrow 
neck, through which is passed an iron wire bearing a tin knob in 
place of the iron nail theretofore used; and, with several of these 


phials joined together in the form of a battery, he had, during the 
previous year, transmitted a shock through a chain of twenty 
persons. His observations are recorded in the above-named 
Memoirs at pp. 175-304 and 506-534, Vol. I. ; pp. 355-460, Vol. II. ; 
pp. 492-556, Vol. III. Gralath's " Electrische Bibliothek " is in 
Vols. II. and III. 

A.D. 1747. The Swedish mathematician and philosopher, 
Samuel Klingenstierna, and his pupil, M. Stroemer, were the first 
who properly electrified by the rubber, and their experiments were 
published in the Acts of the Royal Academy of Sciences at Stockholm 
for the year 1747 (see Priestley's " History of Electricity," 
Part I. period viii. s. 3, wherein he alludes to Wilcke's " Herrn 
Franklin's briefe," etc., p. 112). 

A.D. 1748. Morin (Jean), French physicist, publishes at 
Chartres " Nouvelle dissertation sur 1'electricite des corps/' etc., in 
which he details many of his experiments, and endeavours to give a 
correct explanation of all the extraordinary electrical phenomena 
hitherto observed. He is also the author of a " Reply to Mr. 
Nollet upon Electricity," published in 1749 at Chartres and at 
Paris, as well as of a treatise upon Universal Mechanism, which 
latter, according to the Journal des Savants, contained more in- 
formation upon Nature generally, and expressed in fewer words, 
than was embraced in any previous work. 

REFERENCES. " Diet. Univ.," Vol. XI. p. 568; " Biog. G6nerale," 
Vol. XXXVI. p. 599. 

A.D. 1749. Stukeley (the Rev. William), M.D., is the first who 
advanced that earthquakes arc probably caused by electricity. 
This he did in a paper read before the Royal Society, March 22, 
1749, having reference to the subterranean disturbances noticed 
in London, February 8 and March 8 of the same year. In this 
communication, as well as in a subsequent one read to the same 
Society, December 6, 1750, bearing upon a similar disturbance, 
observed throughout England during the previous month of 
September, he explains why earthquakes are not the result of 
subterraneous winds, fires, vapours, etc. 

One of his strongest arguments is that no such vapours could 
instantaneously have destroyed thirteen great cities as did the 
earthquake which occurred in Asia Minor, A.D. 17, and which is 
reckoned to have shaken a cone of earth three hundred miles 
diameter in base and two hundred miles in the axis. This quantity 
of earth, he says, " all the gunpowder which has ever been made 
since the invention of it would not have been able to stir, much less 


any vapours, which could be supposed to be generated so far below 
the surface," and, he adds, " if the concussion depended upon a 
subterraneous eruption the shock would precede the noise/' 

He observes that the earth for months prior to the afore-named 
disturbances " must have been in a state of electricity ready for that 
particular vibration in which electrification exists"; that all the 
vegetation had been " uncommonly forward . . . and electricity 
is well known to quicken vegetation " ; that the aurora borealis 
had been very frequent about the same time and had been twice 
repeated just before the earthquake, " of such colours as had never 
been seen before," there being, one evening, " a deep red aurora 
borealis covering the cope of heaven very terrible to behold"; 
that the whole year had been " remarkable for fire-balls, thunder, 
lightning and coruscations, almost throughout all England," all 
which " are rightly judged to proceed from the electrical state of 
the atmosphere " ; and, finally, that, a little before the earthquake, 
" a large and black cloud suddenly covered the atmosphere, which 
probably occasioned the shock by the discharge of a shower." 
He adds that, according to Dr. Childrey, earthquakes are always 
preceded by rain and sudden tempests of rain in times of great 

Dr. Stephen Hales (1677-1761), who was Stukeley's classmate 
at Bennct College, Cambridge, and later his chief assistant in the 
study of the natural sciences, and who afterward became celebrated 
for his physical investigations and discoveries, arrives at a like 
conclusion. He thinks that " the electric appearances were only 
occasioned by the great agitation which the electric fluid was put 
into by the shock of so great a mass of the earth." The great 
noise which attended the disturbance of March 8, 1749, he con- 
jectured was " owing to the rushing or sudden expansion of the 
electric fluid at the top of St. Martin's spire, where all the electric 
effluvia, which ascended along the large body of the tower, being 
strongly condensed, and accelerated at the point of the weather- 
cock, as they rushed off made so much the louder expansive ex- 
plosion." It may be added here that Dr. Hales is the one who, at 
a previous date, had communicated to the Royal Society his ob- 
servation of the fact that the electric spark proceeding from warm 
iron is of a bright, light colour, while that from warm copper is 
green, and the colour from a warm egg of a light yellow. In his 
opinion, these experiments appeared to argue that some particles 
of those different bodies are carried off in the electric flashes wherein 
those different colours- are exhibited. 

For Stephen Hales, consult the Phil. Trans., Vol. XLV. p. 409, 
as well as the abridgments of Hutton, Vol. IX. p. 534, and for his 


portrait see " Essays in Historical Chemistry/' by T. E. Thorpe, 
London, 1894. 

For Stukeley and for Stephen Hales : consult " General Bio- 
graphical Dictionary/' Alex. Chalmers, London, 1814, Vol. XVII. 
pp. 41-43. 

REFERENCES. Priestley, " History of Electricity," Part I. period 
x. s. 12; Phil. Trans., abridged by John Martyn, Part II. of Vol. 
X. pp. 406-526, 535, 540, 541, 551 ; Vol. XLIV-XLV, p. 409; Appendix 
to the Phil. Trans, for 1750, Vol. XLVI ; Hale, ''Statical Essays," II. 
p. 291 ; Thomson, " Hist. Roy. Soc.," 1812, p. 197. 

A.D. 1749. Jallabert (Jean Louis), Professor of Philosophy 
and Mathematics at Geneva, is the author of " Experiences sur 
I'electricite, avec quelques conjectures sur la cause de ses effets," 
of which a smaller edition had appeared at Geneva in 1748. 

He confirms the result obtained by Dr. Watson (A.D. 1745) that 
the electric fluid takes the shortest course by passing through the 
substance of a conducting wire instead of along its surface. By 
making his Leyden experiments with a jar in which the water is 
frozen, he shows that ice is a conductor of electricity. He improves 
upon Nolle t's experiments, and demonstrates conclusively that 
plants which are electrified grow faster and have finer stems, etc., 
than those not electrified. He is the first to observe that a body 
pointed at one end and round at the other produces different appear- 
ances upon the same body, according as the pointed or the rounded 
end is presented to it. The Dantzig Memoirs, Vol. II. p. 378, tell 
us that Carolus Augustus Van Bergen, Professor of Medicine at 
Frankfort on Oder, had previously noticed, " as a small step toward 
discovering the effect of pointed bodies," that sparks taken from 
a polished body are stronger than those from a rough one. With 
the latter he found it difficult to fire spirits, but he could easily do it 
with a polished conductor. 

M. Jallabert is also known to have effected some medical cures 
through the agency of the electric fluid, as related in the " Experi- 
ences " above alluded to. 

REFERENCES. " Biog. Univ.," Vol. XX. p. 535 ; Bertholon, " Elec. 
du Corps Humain," 1786, Vol. I. pp. 260, 292, 299, 334, 413, and Vol. 
II. p. 291; Beccaria, "Dell' Elettricismo Naturale," etc., p. 125; 
"Journal cles Scavans," Vol. CXLIX. for 1749, pp. 1-18, 441-461; 
" Medical Electricity," by Dr. H. Lewis Jones, Philad. 1904, p. 2. 

A.D. 1749. Mines are fired by electricity (S. P. Thompson, 
lecture delivered October 7, 1882, at the University College, Bristol). 

A.D. 1749. Through the important work entitled " Trait 6 
sur rElectriciteY' Louis Elisabeth de la Vergne Tressan secures, 


a year later, admission to both the French Academic des Sciences 
and the English Royal Society. During 1786, three years after his 
death, the above-named work was merged into a publication in 
two volumes under the title of " Essai sur le fluide electrique con- 
sider^ comme agent universel." 

REFERENCES. "Biographic G6n6rale," Vol. XLV. pp. 623-626; 
Laroussc, " Dictionnaire Universel," Vol. XV. p. 474. 

A.D. 1749. Duhamel (Henri Louis, du Monceau) (1700-1782), 
member of the French Royal Academy of Sciences, develops, in 
conjunction with M. Antheaulme, the method introduced by 
Gowin Knight (A.D. 1746) for making artificial magnets, which latter 
process was found to be defective when applied to very large bars. 
To Le Maire, however, is due (Mem. de I'Acad. de Paris, 1745 and 
1750), the notable improvement which consists in magnetizing at 
the same time two steel bars of any shape by placing them parallel 
to each other and connecting their extremities, with pieces of soft 
iron placed at right angles, in order to form a closed rectangular 
parallelogram. Two strong magnets, or two bunches of small 
magnetic bars, with their similar poles together, arc then applied to 
the centre of one of the bars to be magnetized and are drawn away 
from each other, practically as in Dr. Knight's method, while being 
held at an inclination of about forty-five degrees. The operation is 
repeated upon the other bar and continued alternately until sufficient 
magnetism is imparted to both, it being borne in mind that before 
the treatment is given to the second bar the poles must in each 
instance be reversed, i. e. the pole which was to the right hand 
should be turned to the left. The entire operation is to be repeated 
upon the reverse side of both bars. 

REFERENCES. Harris, " Rudim. Magn.," I. and II. pp. 85 and 86; 
P. Laroussc, " Diet. Univ.," Vol. VI. p. 1363; " Biog. Generate," Vol. 
XV. pp. 106-107; Condorcct, " Elogc cle Duhamel " ; I. M. Des Essarts, 

" Sidcles litte"raires "; Georges Cuvier, " Hist, des Sc. Naturelles," Vol. 
V; Thos. Thomson, " Hist of the Roy. Soc.," London, 1812, p. 45. 

A.D. 1750-1753. In M. Arago's " Historical Eloge of James 
Watt," translated by James P. Muirhead and published in London 
during the year 1839, ft * s said, at p. 6, that Watt constructed, 
at about the period first mentioned herein, a small electrical (his 
earliest) machine, the brilliant sparks from which became a subject 
of much amusement and surprise to all the companions of the 
poor invalid (" James Watt," by Andrew Carnegie, New York, 1905). 

A.D. 1750. Wargentin (Pierre Guillaume Perh Vilhelm ) 
(1717-1783), Secretary to the Swedish Academy of Sciences and a 


distinguished astronomer, addresses, on the 2ist of February, a 
letter to the Royal Society, of which a copy is to be found in Vol. 
XLVII. p. 126 of the Phil. Trans. In this he gives his observations 
of the result produced on the magnetic needle by the aurora borealis. 
We have already seen (under the A.D. 1683 date), that the dis- 
covery of the fact that magnets are affected by the polar lights 
has been ascribed to Wargentin, and we have also learned (A.D. 
1722) that he ascertained the diurnal changes of the magnetic needle 
with more precision than had been done by George Graham. 

REFERENCES. Walker, "Magnetism," p. 116; American Journal 
Science and Arts, 1841, Vol. XXX. p. 227; Celsius, A.D. 1740, and the 
abridgments of Hutton, Vol. X. p. 165. 

A.D. 1750. Michell (John), an eminent English man of science, 
Professor at Queens' College, Cambridge, publishes " A treatise 
of Artificial Magnets, in which is shown an easy and expeditious 
method of making them superior to the best natural ones." 

The process introduced by this work is known as that of the 
" double touch." This consists in first joining, at about a quarter 
of an inch distance, two bundles of strongly magnetized bars, having 
their opposite poles together, and in drawing these bars backward 
and forward upon and along the entire length of the bars to be 
magnetized, which latter have already been laid down end to end 
and in a straight line. The operation is to be repeated upon each 
side of the bars. The central bars of a series thus acquire at first a 
higher degree of magnetism than do the outer ones, but by trans- 
posing the latter and treating all alike the magnetic virtue is evenly 
distributed. In this process the external bars act the same part as 
do the pieces of soft iron employed in the Duhamel method. 

At Chap. VI. p. 20 of the third volume of his " Rudimentary 
Magnetism," Harris thus expresses himself : " Michell advanced 
the idea that in all the experiments of Hauksbee, Dr. Brooke Taylor, 
William Whiston and Musschenbroek, the force may really be in 
the inverse duplicate ratio of the distances, proper allowance being 
made for the disturbing changes in the magnetic forces so inseparable 
from the nature of the experiment. He is hence led to conclude 
that the true law of the force is identical with that of gravity, 
although he does not set it down as certain." 

REFERENCES. Harris, " Rud. Mag./' I. and II. pp. 94-95; C. R. 
Weld, " Hist. Roy. Soc.," Vol. I. p. 512 ; Phil. Trans. t Vol. LI. pp. 390, 
393, and Hutton's abridgment, Vol. XI. p. 418; Gaugain's observations 
in " Sc. Am. Suppl.," No. 7, p. 99. 

A.D. 1750. Boulanger not Boullangre (Nicholas Antoine) 
(1722-1759), a well-known French writer, whose extensive studies 


were interrupted by his death, in 1759, at the early age of thirty- 
seven, gives, in this " Traite* de la cause et des phe*nome*nes de 
rdectriciteV' accounts of many important observations made in 
the electrical field. 

His attention was carefully given to ascertaining the degrees 
in which different substances are capable of being excited, and he 
gives several lists of such, inferring therefrom that the most trans- 
parent and the most brittle are always the most electric. 

At pp. 64 and 124 of the above-named " Traite " he states that 
electricity affects mineral waters much more sensibly than common 
water; that black ribbons are more readily attracted than those 
of other colours, next to the black being the brown and deep red; 
and that, of two glass cylinders exactly alike, except that one is 
transparent and the other slightly coloured, the transparent one 
will be the more readily excited. 

REFERENCES. The " Traite"," notably at pp. 135 and 164; " Biog. 
; Lc Bas, " Diet. Encycl. de la France " ; QueY 
Chauclon et Dclandine, " Diet, historique.' 1 

G6neralc," Vol. VI. p. 939 ; Lc Bas, " Diet. Encycl. de la France " ; Qu6rard, 
" La France Litteraire "; "" " ' " 

A.D. 1751. Adanson (Michael), a French naturalist of very 
high reputation, who, before the age of nineteen, had actually 
described four thousand species of the three kingdoms of nature, 
introduces in his " History of Senegal " the silurus electricus, a large 
species of eel originally brought from Surinam. Sir John Leslie 
states that the silurus is furnished with a very peculiar and complex 
nervous apparatus which has been fancifully likened to an electrical 
battery, and that, from a healthy specimen exhibited in London, 
vivid sparks were drawn in a darkened room. M. Broussonet 
alludes to the silurus as Le TremUeur in the " Hist, de TAcad. Royale 
des Sciences " for 1782, p. 692. 

Adanson also called attention, in 1756, to the electrical pow r ers of 
the malapterus electricus, but, according to the able naturalist, 
James Wilson (" Ichthyology/' Encycl. Brit.), there is a much earlier 
account of the fish extracted from the narrative of Barettis and 
Oviedo dated 1554. 

The Swedish scientist, Karl A. Rudolphi, pupil of Linnaeus, 
called the princeps helminthologorum, has given a detailed description 
as well as illustrations of the electric organs of the malapterus in 
" Ueber den Zitter-wels," Abh. Berl. Acad. VII. . . . This fish, 
which the Arabs call Raad or Raash (thunder), gives its discharge 
chiefly when touched on the head, but is powerless when held by 
the tail, the electrical organs in fact not reaching the caudal fin. 

To Adanson has been attributed the authorship of an essay on 


the " Electricity of the Tourmaline/' Paris, 1757, which bears 
the name of the Duke de Noya Caraffa. 

REFERENCES. Sprcng, " Hist. R. Herb.," Vol. II; and " Adanson's 
Biog.," Vol. II. " Encycl. Britannica," Rees' " Cycl." Supplement and in 
" Bibl. Universelle," Vol. I; Chambers' " Encyl." for 1868, Vol. III. 
p. 822; Cavallo, " Nat. Phil.," Philad., 1825, Vol. II. p. 237 ; Scientific 
American Supplement, No. 457, pp. 7300, 7301 ; Rozier, Vol. XXVII. 
p. 139, and W. Bryant in Trans. Am. Phil. Soc. II. p. 166, O. S. 

A.D. 1752. Franklin (Benjamin) (1706-1790), an able American 
editor, philosopher and statesman, crowns his many experiments 
with the brilliant discovery of the identity of electricity and lightning. 
Humboldt says : " From this period the electric process passes 
from the domain of speculative physics into that of cosmical con- 
templation from the recesses of the study to the freedom of nature " 
(" Cosmos/' Vol. II. 1849, p. 727). Wall (A.D. 1708) had only 
alluded to the resemblance of electricity to thunder and lightning ; 
Grey (A.D. 1720) had conjectured their identity and implied that 
they differed only in one degree, while Nollct (A.D. 1746) pointed 
out a closer relationship than ever before adduced between lightning 
and the electric spark ; but it was left for Franklin to prove the fact 
with empirical certainty. 

Franklin's attention was first directed to electrical studies in 
1745, by a letter from Peter Collinson, Fellow of the Royal Society 
of London, to the Literary Society of Philadelphia, and he first wrote 
on the subject to that gentleman on the 28th of July, 1747. This 
was followed by several other similar communications up to April 
18, 1754, the whole of which comprise most of what subsequently 
appeared under the title " New Experiments and Observations on 
Electricity, made at Philadelphia, in America, by Benjamin Franklin, 
LL.D. and F.R.S." 

Franklin first entertained the idea that lightning was not likely 
to be attracted by a pointed rod unless the latter was placed at a 
great height, and he therefore waited for the erection of a tall spire 
in Philadelphia which he intended to utilize for his observations, 
but delay in its completion led him to use a kite pointed with- an 
iron rod, not doubting that the electric fluid could, during a thunder- 
storm, be drawn from it through a string. 

The manner of constructing and employing the kite, and the 
attending results, are thus given in a letter dated Oct. 19, 1752 
(Letter XII, " Experiments and observations on Electricity ") : 
" Make a small cross of two light strips of cedar, the arms so long 
as to reach to the four corners of a large thin silk handkerchief when 
extended. Tie the corners of the handkerchief to the extremities 
of the cross, so you have the body of a kite which, being properly 



accommodated with a tail, loop and string, will rise in the air like 
those made of paper ; but, this being made of silk, is fitter to bear 
the wet and wind of a thunder-gust without tearing. To the top 
of the upright stick of the cross is to be fixed a very sharp-pointed 
wire, rising a foot or more above the wood. In the end of the twine, 
next the hand, is to be held a silk ribbon, and where the silk and 
twine join a key may be fastened. This kite is to be raised when a 
thunder-gust appears to be coming on, and the person who holds 
the string must stand within a door or window, or under some cover, 
so that the silk ribbon may not be wet, and care must be taken that 
the twine does not touch the frame of the door or window. As 
soon as any of the thunder clouds come over the kite, the pointed 
wire will draw the electric fire from them, and the kite with all the 
twine will be electrified, and the lose filaments of the twine will 
stand out every way and be attracted by an approaching finger. 
And when the rain has wetted the kite so that it can conduct the 
electric fire freely, you will find it stream out plentifully from the 
key on the approach of your knuckle. At this key, the phial (Leyden 
jar) may be charged,, and from electric fire thus obtained spirits may 
be kindled, and all the other electric experiments be performed 
which are usually done by the help of a rubber glass globe or tube, 
and thereby the sameness of the electric matter with that of lightning 
completely demonstrated." 

It was during the month of June 1752, on the approach of a 
storm, that he and his son walked out upon the Philadelphia 
Commons and first raised the kite. At the outset no important 
results were obtained, but as soon as the cord became wet by the 
shower that followed, the electric sparks were easily drawn from 
the key and enabled Franklin to charge and give shocks from a 
Leyden jar. 

Thus, says Sabine, was Benjamin Franklin successful in one of 
the boldest experiments ever made by man upon the powers of 
nature, and from that moment he became immortal. 

He had already, in 1749, made public the following, which is 
embodied in one of his letters to Mr. Collinson : " The electrical 
spark is zigzag, and not straight ; so is lightning. Pointed bodies 
attract electricity; lightning strikes mountains, trees, spires, masts 
and chimneys. When different paths are offered to the escape of 
electricity, it chooses the best conductor ; so does lightning. Elec- 
tricity fires combustibles; so does lightning. Electricity fuses 
metals; so does lightning. Lightning rends bad conductors when 
it strikes them; so does electricity when rendered sufficiently 
strong. Lightning reverses the poles of a magnet ; electricity has 
the same effect." 


Franklin had, likewise, published at about the same period the 
plan for an experiment to ascertain from elevated structures whether 
the clouds that contain lightning are electrified or not. He himself 
had proposed to put the plan to execution ; but he was led to try 
the kite experiment, and, meanwhile, his suggestions had been 
successfully acted upon, in France, by M. Dalibard and de Lor, 
as will be shown later on, 

" The lightning, which doth cease to be, ere one can say, ' it lightens. 1 " 

" First let me talk with this philosopher ; what is the cause of thunder ? " 

"... a way for the lightning of the thunder." Job xxviii. 26, and 
xxxviii. 25. 

" It related not to the instances of the magneticalness of lightning." 
" Hist, of Roy. Soc.," by Thomas Birch, Vol. IV. p. 253. 

When specifying the great points of coincidence existing between 
the ordinary electric discharge and lightning, Franklin, as already 
partly stated, had remarked that flashes of lightning are frequently 
waving and crooked, of a zigzag or forked appearance, sometimes 
diffused and sometimes coloured (" On the Nature of Thunder- 
storms/' W. Snow Harris, London, 1843, p. 24; Priestley, " History 
and Present State of Electricity," London, 1769, p. 166; " Encycl. 
Metropol.," article " Electricity "; Biot, " Trait e de Physique/' 
Vol. II). In treating of the subject of lightning flashes, Dr. L. D. 
Gale (trans, of M. F. J. F. Duprez's paper on " Atmospheric Elec- 
tricity/' taken from the memoirs of the Royal Academy of Brussels) 
alludes to the attempts made by C. G. Helvig to determine the 
velocity of the linear flashes (Gilbert's Annalen, Vol. LI. pp. 136 
and 139, ss. 2, 10) which he estimated to be 40,000 to 50,000 
feet in a second, and states that M. Weigsenborn, of Weimar 
(Comptes Rendus, Vol. IX. p. 218), calculated the velocity of a flash 
observed in 1839 to be more than two leagues, while M. Fra^ois 
Arago (" Annuaire," etc., pour I'anne'e 1838, pp. 249, 255, 257, 459, 
estimated the lengths of certain flashes to be 3*3, 3*6, 3*8 leagues. 
The views of Messrs. Logan (Phil. Trans., 1735, Vol. XXXIX. p. 
240), L. J. Gay-Lussac (Ann. de Chim. et de Phys., 1805, Vol. XXIX. 
p. 105), H. W. Brandes (" Beitrage zur Witterungskunde," etc., 
1820, p. 353), C. H. Pfaff and L. E. Kaemtz (J. S. T. Gehler, " Diet, 
de Phys./' Vol. I. p. 1001, and " Lehrbuch d. Meteor," Vol. II. 
p. 430), Gabriel Lame (" Cours. de Phys. de 1'Ecole Polytech./' 
Tome II. 2 e partie, p. 82), Becquerel (Comptes Rendus, 1839, Tome 
VIII. p. 216), Faraday (Philos. Magazine, 1841, Vol. XIX. p. 104), 
Pouillet (" Elements de Phys. et de M6t<or," Tome II. p. 808), 
Parrot (J. S. T. Gehler, " Diet, de Phys,/' Vol. I. p. 999), are also 


set forth in the above-named translation of M. Duprez's valuable 

Humboldt informs us that " the most important ancient notice 
of the relations between lightning and conducting metals is that of 
Ctesias, in his Indica, Cap. IV. p. 169. He possessed two iron swords, 
presents from the King Artaxerxes Mnemon, and from his mother 
Parysatis, which, when planted in the earth, averted clouds, hail 
and strokes of lightning. He had himself seen the operation, for the 
king had twice made the experiment before his eyes " (" Cosmos," 
Vol. II. N. 186). Ctesias was a man of great learning. He was a 
contemporary of Xenophon, and lived for a number of years at 
the Court of Artaxerxes Mnemon as private physician to the king. 
Diodorus states that Ctesias was highly honoured at the Persian 
court. An abridged edition of the Indica was printed by Stephens 
in 1594 (" Hist. Roy. Soc.," C. R. Weld, London, 1848, Vol. II. p. 
93; " La Grande Encyclopedic," Vol. XIII. p. 536; "Biographic 
G&ierale," Vol. XII. p. 568). 

In imitation of Franklin, Doctor Lining, of Charleston, in South 
Carolina, sent a kite into a thunder cloud, and by that means dissi- 
pated the lightning (Philosophical Transactions for 1754, Vol. 
XLVIII. p. 757). 

The opinion entertained by Franklin regarding the nature of 
electricity differs from that previously submitted by Dufay (A.D. 
1733), in the manner shown by Noad at p. 6 of his Manual, London, 
1859 edition. 

What Dufay considered to be two distinct species of electricities, 
vitreous and resinous, Franklin conceived to be two different states 
of the same electricity, which he called positive and negative. This, 
which constitutes the foundation of the present theory of electricity, 
is usually called the Franklinian theory, but it can be said to belong 
equally to Dr. Watson, for he had communicated it to the Royal 
Society before Franklin's opinion on the subject was known in 
England (Phil. Trans, for 1748, Vol. XLV. pp. 49, 491 ; Thomson, 
" Hist. Roy. Soc.," p. 436). Noad, in paragraph 12, applies the 
latter theory to the case of a charged Leyden jar, alluding to Frank- 
lin's discovery of the location of electricity in the jar, where from is 
drawn the conclusion that it is upon the glass that the electricity 
is deposited, and that the conducting coatings serve " only, like the 
armature of the loadstone, to unite the forces of the several parts 
and bring them at once to any point desired " (see " (Euvres de 
Franklin," trans, of Barbeu-Dubourg, Tome II. p. 16, 3 lettre). 

Of his plus and minus theory, Franklin thus wrote to Mr. Collin- 
son : " To electrise plus or minus no more needs to be known than 
this, that the parts of the tube or sphere that are rubbed do, in the 


instant of the friction, attract the electrical fire, and therefore take 
it from the thing rubbing ; the same parts, immediately as the fric- 
tion upon them ceases, are disposed to give the fire they have 
received to any body that has less." 

In an appendix to his official report as U.S. Commissioner at 
the Paris Universal Exposition of 1867, entitled " Franklin and 
Electrical Semaphores," Professor Samuel F. B. Morse, LL.D., 
expressed himself as follows : 

" It has frequently been asserted (on what authority I know 
not) that the first idea of an electric semaphore originated with 
Franklin. I have sought in vain in the publication of Franklin's 
experiments and works for anything confirmatory of this assertion. 
On mentioning the subject to my friend Professor Blake, he kindly 
proposed examining the writings of Franklin in order to elicit the 
truth. From him I have received the following : 

" ' I consulted several works for the purpose of ascertaining, 
if possible, the foundation for the statement that Franklin suggested 
the idea of semaphores by static electricity. I have not yet found 
any such suggestion, but I have noted that, following the experi- 
ments by Dr. Watson and others, in England, to determine the velocity 
of the electric discharge, and the time supposed to be required 
for the electrical discharges across the Thames, by which spirits 
were kindled, etc. (in 1747), Dr. Franklin (in 1748) made some similar 
experiments upon the banks of the Schuylkill, and amused his friends 
by sending a spark " from side to side through the river without 
any other conductor than the water " (vide Priestley's " History 
of Electricity "). This was in 1748, at the end of the year. In 
1756 " J. A., Esq.," of New York (James Alexander), presented 
to the Royal Society a proposition " to measure the time taken by 
an electric spark in moving through any given space " by sending 
the discharge or spark down the Susquehanna or Potomac, and round 
by way of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, so that the " electric fire " 
would have a circuit of some thousands of miles to go. All this was 
upon the supposition or assumption that the electric fire would 
choose a continuous water conductor rather than to return or pass 
through the earth. Franklin presented a paper in reply, in which he 
says " the proposed experiment (though well imagined and very 
ingenious) of sending the spark round through a vast length of 
space, etc. etc., would not afford the satisfaction desired, though 
we could be sure that the motion of the electric fluid would be in 
that tract, and not underground in the wet earth by the shortest 
way " ' (' Franklin's Experiments on Electricity, and Letters and 
Papers on Philosophical Subjects/ 4to, London, MDCCLXIX, 
pp. 282, 283). 


" Can it be possible that Franklin's experiment of firing spirits 
and showing the spark and the effects of the electric discharge across 
the river originated, or forms the foundation for, the statement 
that he suggested the semaphoric use of electricity? " 

After speaking of the experiments, to which allusion was made (at 
Watson, A.D. 1745), Franklin writes : ". . . It is proposed to put an 
end to them for this season, somewhat humorously, in a party of plea- 
sure, on the banks of the Schuylkill. Spirits at the same time are to 
be fired by a spark sent from side to side through the river without 
any other conductor than the water an experiment which we some 
time since performed to the amazement of many. A turkey is to 
be killed for our dinner by the electrical shock, and roasted by the 
electrical jack, before a fire kindled by the electrified bottle, when 
the healths of all the famous electricians in England, Holland, 
France and Germany are to be drank in electrified bumpers under 
the discharge of guns from the electrical battery/ 1 

It was toward the close of the year 1750 that Franklin entertained 
the practicability of a lightning conductor (see Winckler, A.D. 1733), 
and, for this, he says, he was indebted to an experiment made by 
his friend Mr. Thomas Hopkinson (vide Franklin's " Complete 
Works," London, 1806, Vol. I. p. 172). In his " Poor Richard's 
Almanac " for 1753, he refers to the lightning rod as security for 
" habitations and other buildings from mischief by thunder and 

REFERENCES. J. B. Lc Roy, " Lctiera al Rozier," etc., Milano, 1782 ; 
" Rcc. dc M6m. de 1'Acad. des Sc." for 1770 and 1773; Jour, de Phys., 
1773, Vol. II; Memoirs of M. Beyer, Paris, 1806-1809, and Delaunay's 
explanation of his theories at pp. 193-198 of his 1809 Manuel. 

The many notable observations, experiments and discoveries 
of Franklin are nowhere more ably reviewed than by his great 
admirer Dr. Priestley, who devotes much space thereto in his justly 
celebrated work on electricity. 

At p. 92 of his " New Experiments," etc., London, 1774, Franklin 
alludes to the failure of many European electricians in firing gun- 
powder by the electric spark, and gives his own method by using a 
battery of four large glass jars, while at p. 423 of the London edition 
of his " Letters and Papers," etc., Franklin relates curious observa- 
tions which are worth mentioning here. He says that he sent a 
charge of electricitj 7 " through a small glass tube that had borne it 
well when empty, but when filled with water was shattered to pieces 
and driven all about the room. Finding no part of the water on 
the table, I suspected it to have been reduced to vapour. I was 
confirmed in that suspicion afterward when I had filled a like piece 


of tube with ink and laid it on a sheet of paper, whereon after the 
explosion I could find neither any moisture nor any sully from the 
ink. This experiment of the explosion of water, which I believe 
was first made by that most ingenious electrician, Father Beccaria, 
may account for what we sometimes see in a tree struck by lightning, 
when part of it is reduced to fine splinters like a broom ; the sap vessels 
being so many tubes containing a watery fluid, which, when reduced 
to vapour, sends every tube lengthways. And, perhaps it is this 
rarefaction of the fluids in animal bodies killed by lightning or 
electricity, that by separating its fibres renders the flesh so tender 
and apt so much sooner to putrefy. I think, too, that much of 
the damage done by lightning to stone and brick walls may some- 
times be owing to the explosion of water found during showers, 
running or lodging in the joints or small cavities or cracks that 
happen to be in the walls." 

REFERENCES. Majus May (Heinrich), " Disp. de fulmine " and 
" Disp. de tonitru," Marp., 1673, as at Pogg., Annalen, Vol. II. p. 21 ; 
Giuseppe Saverio Poli, " La formazione del Tuono," etc., 1772, and his 
other works on the same subject which appeared during the years 1773, 
1779 and 1787 ; Phil. Trans, for 1751, Vol. XLVII. pp. 202, 289, 362 ; W. 
de Fonvielle, " Eclairs et Tonnerres " ; " Terrestrial Magn." for June 1903 ; 
Jour, of the Franklin Institute for 1836, Vol. XVII., p. 183 ; M. le Docteur 
Sestier, " De La Foudre " ; " Lightning- Rod Conference," Reports of 
Delegates, by G. J. Symons, 1882 ; Chap. III. s. 3, vol. i. of Van Swinden's 
" Recueil," etc., 1784; Lumitre Electrique, Tome XL. No. 23, p. 497; 
Giovanni Cardan's work, Lyons, 1663 ; " Library of Literary Criticism," 
C. W. Moulton, Buffalo, 1901-1902, Vol. IV. pp. 79-106; " An Outline 
of the Sciences of Heat and Electricity," by Thos. Thomson, London, 
1830, pp. 347, 423, 432433; "The Electrical Researches of the Hon. 
Henry Cavendish," Cambridge, 1879, Nos. 350, note, 363; "Works of 
Benj. Franklin," Jared Sparks, London, 1882 ; Phil. Trans., Vols. XLVII. 
p. 565 ; XLIX. pp. 300, 305, ; L. p. 481 ; LI. p. 525 ; LII. 456 ; also Hutton's 
abridgments, Vol. X. pp. 189, 212, 301, 629, 632; Vol. XL pp. 189, 435, 
609; " Bibliothdque Bntannique," Geneve, 1796, Vol. LI. p. 393 (letter 
to M. Marc Auguste Pictet) ; Stuber, " Continuation of the Life of Dr. 
Franklin " ; " An Essay on the Nature of Heat, Light and Electricity " 
(on the Franklinian hypothesis), by Chas. Carpenter Bompass, London, 
1817, Chap. III. s. 3, p. 217; " List of Books written by or relating to 
Franklin," by Paul L. Ford, 1889 ; L. Baldwin, " Mem. of Amer. Acad.," 
O. S. L part i. p. 257; Sturgeon's " Researches," p. 524 ; J. Bart. Beccari, 
" De Artif. elect . . ." ; likewise all the references that are given at 
pp. 26-27 of Ronalds' "Catalogue"; "Journal des Savants" for June 
1817. PP- 34 8 -35 6 - 

A.D. 1752. Dalibard (Thomas Francois), French botanist and 
amateur in physics, carries out very carefully the suggestions em- 
bodied in Franklin's printed letters and constructs an atmospherical 
conductor at Marly-la-Ville, about eighteen miles from Paris, where 
Nollet likewise experimented. Dalibard's apparatus consisted of a 
pointed iron rod, one inch in diameter and about forty feet long, 
which was protected from the rain by a sentry box and attached to 
three long wooden posts insulated by silken strings. 


On the loth of May, 1752, during Dalibard's absence, an old 
soldier by the name of Coimer, who was at the time employed as a 
carpenter and who had been left in charge, on observing the approach 
of a storm, hurried to the apparatus prepared to carry out the 
instructions previously given him. It was not long before he suc- 
ceeded in obtaining large sparks on presenting a phial to the rod, 
and these sparks, which were all accompanied by a large snapping 
noise, were likewise obtained by the curate of Marly, M. Raulet, 
whom he had sent for and with whose aid Coiffier subsequently 
succeeded in charging an electric jar. On the I3th of May, Dalibard 
made, to the French Academy of Sciences, a report of the results 
thus obtained by Coiffier, to whom, it may be said, properly belongs 
the distinction of having been the first man who saw the electric spark 
drawn from the atmosphere. 

On the i8th of the same month of May, M. de Lor, of the French 
University, drew similar sparks from a rod ninety-nine feet high at 
his house in the Estrapade, at Paris, and the same phenomenon was 
afterward exhibited to the French King. It is said that the con- 
ductor afforded sparks even when the cloud had moved at least six 
miles from the place of observation. Other experiments of a like 
nature were made a few days later by Buffon at Montbar, and, 
during the ensuing months of July and August, in the vicinity of 
London, by Canton, who, it is said, succeeded in drawing atmo- 
spheric electricity by means of a common fishing rod (Dissertation 
Fifth, Eighth " Britannica," Vol. I). 

An account of the Dalibard and de Lor experiments was trans- 
mitted by the Abbe Mazeas, on the 2oth of May, to the Royal Society 
of London. 

Mazeas erected, in the upper section of his residence, a magazine 
consisting of several insulated iron bars connected with the pointed 
rod. The lightning was brought into the house by means of a pro- 
jecting wooden pole, having at its extremity a glass tube filled with 
resin which received a pointed iron rod twelve feet long. This 
apparatus was, however, too much exposed to afford reliable observa- 
tions, and Mazeas therefore arranged to make more accurate experi- 
ments at the Chateau de Maintenon, during the months of June, 
July and October 1753. The results he obtained were communi- 
cated to the English Royal Society by Dr. Stephen Hales. The 
letters of the Abbe Mazeas to the Rev. Stephen Hales, detailing 
some of M. Le Monnier's experiments as well as observations made 
by M. Ludolf at Berlin and transmitted by M. Euler, are to be found 
at pp. 354-552, Vol. XLVII. Phil. Trans, for 1753. For Mazeas, 
see also Phil. Trans., Vol. XLVII. p. 534, Vol. XLVIII. part i. 
p. 377, and Button's abridgments, Vol. X. pp. 289, 434, 


Thomas Ronayne in Ireland, and Andrew Crosse * in England 
(see " Account of an apparatus for ascertaining and collecting the 
electricity of the atmosphere ") made use of long wires in horizontal 
positions insulated by being attached to glass pillars, but Mazdas, 
in his Maintenon experiments, attached the iron wire by a silken 
cord to the top of a steeple ninety feet in height, whence it entered 
an upper room of the castle, a total distance of 370 feet. With 
this, Mazeas ascertained that electric effects are produced at all 
hours of the day during clear, dry and particularly hot weather, 
the presence of a thunderstorm not .being requisite for the pro- 
duction of atmospheric electricity. In the driest summer nights 
he could discover no signs of electricity in the air, but when the 
sun reappeared the electricity accompanied it, to vanish again in 
the evening about half an hour after sunset. 

REFERENCES. W. Sturgeon, " Lectures," London, 1842, pp. 182, 
183; Phil. Trans., Vol. XLVIII. part i. pp. 370, 377, etc.; Dalibard's 
" Franklin," Vol. IE. p. 109, etc.; " Me"m. de 1'Acad. des Sciences," for 
May, 1762; Nollet, " Letters," Vol. I. p. 9; Franklin's Works, Vol. V. 
p. 288; English Cyclopaedia, "Arts and Sciences," Vol. III. pp. 804- 
805; " Letters of Thomas Ronayne, to Benjamin Franklin," at p. 137 of 
Vol. LXII of Phil. Trans., likewise Ronayne both in Journal de Physique, 
Tome VI, and in the Phil. Trans, for 1772, Vol. LII. pp. 137-140; also 
Mutton's abridgments, Vol. XIII. p. 310; Geo. Adams, " Essay on Elect.," 
London, 1785, p. 259. 

A.D. 1752. Freke (John), surgeon to St. Bartholomew's 
Hospital, London, gives, in the Second Part of " A Treatise . . . 
of Fire," the third edition of his " Essay to Show the Cause of 
Electricity," etc., originally published in 1746, while in the Third 
Part of the same work he shows the " Mechanical Cause of Magnetism, 
and why the compass varies in the manner it does." 

He says (pp. 90-91) : " It had been impossible that this wonderful 
Phenomenon of Electricity should ever have been discovered, if 
there had not been such things as are non-elect ricable ; for, as fast as 
this Fire had been driven on anything its next neighbour would 
have carried it farther; but, when it was most wonderfully found, 
that anything which was suspended on a silk cord (that being non- 
electricable) was obliged to retain the Fire, which by Electrical 
Force was driven on it; and when, moreover, it appeared, that 
any person or thing, being placed on a cake of bees-wax (which is 
also a non-electricable) could no more part with its Fire than when 
suspended in [sic] a silk cord; I think it will become worthy of 
inquiry, why they are not electricable." And, at p. 136, he adds : 

1 Mr. Andrew Crosse (1784-1855) was a distinguished English scientist, 
author of " Experiments in Voltaic Electricity," 1815, alluded to in Phil. 
Magazine, Vol. XLVI. p. 421 and in Gilb. "Ann.," Bd. XLI. s. 60. See " Diet, 
of Nat. Hog.," Vol. XIII. p. 223, and the many references thereto annexed. 


11 1 think it a great pity that the word Electricity should ever have 
been given to so wonderful a Phenomenon, which might properly be 
considered as the first principle in nature. Perhaps the word 
Vivacity might not have been an improper one ; but it is too late to 
think of changing a name it has so long obtain'd." In the Third 
Part, he explains that " by the Fire passing from and to the Sun, 
it so pervades iron aptly placed, as to make it attractive and produce 
the various operations of magnetism/' 

REFERENCE. "Gentleman's Magazine/' London, Vol. XVI for 1746, 
PP- 5 2I > 557' 

A.D. 1752. In this year was published at Leipzig the " Biblia 
Naturae," written by John Swammerdam, a celebrated Dutch 
natural philosopher (1637-1682), all of whose works were translated 
into English and published in folio during the year 1758. 

In the second volume of the Biblia, he thus alludes to one of 
many experiments made by him in 1678, before the Grand Duke 
of Tuscany : " Let there be a cylindrical glass tube in the interior 
of which is placed a muscle, whence proceeds a nerve that has been 
enveloped in its course with a small silver wire, so as to give us the 
power of raising it without pressing it too much or wounding it. 
This wire is made to pass through a ring bored in the extremity of a 
small copper support and soldered to a sort of piston or partition ; 
but the little silver wire is so arranged that on passing between the 
glass and the piston the nerve may be drawn by the hand and so 
touch the copper. The muscle is immediately seen to contract/' 

Through Swammerdam, the Germans lay claim to the origin of 
what has been called galvanism. It certainly cannot be denied that 
the above-described experiment closely resembles that which made 
Galvani famous (A.D. 1786). 

REFERENCES. Swammerdam 's Biography, also Dissertation Fifth, 

pp. 706-708; Cuvier, "Hist, des Sc. Naturelles/' Vol. II. pp. 427-433; 
Schelhorn, " Amnenitates liter.," Vol. XIV; " Biblioth. Hulthemiana," 
Gand, 1836, Vol. II; Boerhaave, Preface to " Biblia Naturae." 

A.D. 1752. On the i6th of April, 1752, is read before the Royal 
Society a letter written by John Smeaton, a very prominent English 
engineer and inventor (1724-1792), to Mr. John Ellicot, giving an 
account of the electrical experiments in vacuo made with his improved 
air pump at the request of Mr. Wilson. This account, fully illus- 
trated, appears in the Society's Vol. LXVII for the years 1751 and 
1752, pp. 415-428. 

He observes that, upon heating the middle of a large iron bar 


to a great heat, the hot part can be as strongly electrified as the 
cold parts on each side of it. He also finds that if anybody who is 
insulated presses the flat part of his hand heavily against the globe, 
while another person standing upon the floor does the same, in order 
to excite it, the one who is insulated will hardly be electrified at all ; 
but that, if he only lays his fingers lightly upon the globe, he will 
be very strongly electrified. 

the Engineers Smeaton and Rennie " ; Flint's " Mudge Memoirs," 
Truro, 1883. 

A.D. 1752-1753. M. de Romas, Assessor to the Presideal of 
Nerac, in France, repeats the experiment of Benjamin Franklin, 
and succeeds finally in bringing from the clouds more electricity 
than had before been taken by any apparatus. , 

He constructed a kite seven feet five inches high and three feet 
wide, with a surface of eighteen square feet, and, having wound 
fine copper wire around a strong cord through its entire length of 
about eight hundred feet, he raised the kite to a height of five 
hundred and fifty feet on the 7th of June, 1753. Sparks two inches 
in length were at first drawn by a discharging rod, and, when the 
kite was afterwards allowed to reach an elevation of six hundred and 
fifty feet, he received many flashes one foot long, three inches wide 
and three lines diameter, accompanied by a noise audible at as great 
a distance as five hundred feet. 

On the i6th of August, M. de Romas raised the kite with about 
one thousand feet of string and obtained thirty beams of fire, nine 
or ten feet long and about an inch thick, accompanied by a noise 
similar to that of a pistol shot (" Encycl. Britannica," eighth 
edition, Vol. VIII. p. 582). Three years later, August 26, 1756, 
and also during the year 1757, De Romas obtained similar results 
from numerous experiments. He finally apprehended much danger 
from the raising of the kite and thereafter coiled the string upon a 
small carriage, which he drew along by means of silken lines as the 
cord was being unwound. 

The researches of De Romas concerning the electricity of isolated 
metallic bars are embraced in six letters addressed by him to the 
Bordeaux Academy of Sciences between July 12, 1752, and June 14, 
1753. It is reported that they have never been printed and that 
they are kept, together with other manuscript matter of the same 
physicist, in the private archives of the institution. 

The experiments of De Romas upon isolated bars were first 
repeated by Boze at Wittenberg, by Gordon at Erfurt, and by 


Lomonozow in Russia (Phil. Trans., Vol. XLVIIL part ii p. 272). 
M, Veratti, of Bologna, obtained the electric spark in all weathers, 
through a bar of iron resting in sulphur, and Th. Marin, of the same 
city, by means of a long iron pole erected upon his dwelling, studied 
the relationship of rain and atmospheric electricity (Musschenbroek, 
" Cours de Physique," Vol. I. p. 397). 

REFERENCES. Journal des S$avans for October, 1753, p. 222; 
" M6moire sur les moyens," etc., par De Romas, Bordeaux, 1776; 
Sturgeon's " Annals," etc., Vol. V. p. 9; Harris, " Electricity," p. 176; 
Priestley, "History," etc., 1775, pp. 326-329; " Me"moires de Math6- 
matique," etc., Vol. II. p. 393, and Vol. IV. p. 514; "Etude sur les 
travaux de De Romas," p. 491, by Prof. Mergey, of Bordeaux, which 
latter work won a prize for its author in 1853 ; Becquerel, " Trait6 
experimental," etc., 1834, Vol. I. pp. 42-43 ; likewise the results obtained 
by Prof. Charles in " Traite" dc Physique Exp&rimentalc," etc., par Biot, 
Paris, 1816, Vol. II. pp. 444, 446, and in Peltier's Introduction to his 
" Observations et Recherches Expe*rimentales," etc., Paris, 1840, p. 7, 
as well as Brisson's " Diet, de Phys.," Paris, 1801, Vol. II. p. 174, and 
" Me"moires des Savants Etrangers," 1755, Vol. II. p. 406. 

A.D. 1753. M. Deslandes, member of the French Royal 
Academy of Sciences, is the author of " Recueil de Differents traites 
de Physique," the third volume of which contains his memoir on the 
effects of thunder upon the mariner's compass. He alludes to the 
observations made thereon by Dr. Lister of London (well known by 
his " Historise Animalium Anglise," Lugd., 1678), as well as to many 
experiments made by Musschenbroek and by others noted in the 
Philosophical Transactions. 

A.D. 1753. Prof. George William Richmann (1711-1753), 
native of Sweden and member of the Imperial Academy of St. 
Petersburg, who had already constructed an apparatus for obtaining 
atmospherical electricity according to Franklin's plans, was attending 
a meeting of the Russian Academy of Science, on the 6th of August, 
1753, when his ear caught the sound of a very heavy thunder clap. 
He hastened away in company with his engraver, M. Sokolow, and 
upon their arrival home they found the plummet of the electrometer 
elevated four degrees from the perpendicular. Richmann stooped 
toward the latter to ascertain the force of the electricity, and " as 
he stood in that posture, a great white and bluish fire appeared 
between the rod of the electrometer and his head. At the same 
time a sort of steam or vapour arose, which entirely benumbed 
the engraver and made him sink on the ground." Sokolow recovered, 
but Richmann had met with instant death. 

REFERENCES. "Library of Useful Knowledge," London, 1829; 
" Electricity," p. 59, also p. 33; " Lettre sur la mort de Richmann," 
par C. A. Rabiqueau, Pans, n. d. ; " Comment. Acad. Petrop.," XIV. 
pp. 23, 301-302, also the " Novi Comment.," IV. pp. 25, 235 and 299; 


" Biog. G6nrale," Vol. XLII. p. 258 ; " Gentleman's Magazine," London, 
Vol. XXIII., 1753, p. 431 and Vol. XXV. for 1755, p. 3; Singer, " Elec- 
tricity/' p. 217; Harris, " Electricity," p. 177; Phil. Trans. , Vol. XLVIII. 
part ii. pp. 763-765, 772 ; also Vol. XLIX. part i. pp. 61, 67, and the 
abridgments by Hutton, Vol. X. pp. 525, $74-577; " La physique & 
la portee de tout le monde," par le P6re Pauhan, Vol. II. p. 357; " Hist, 
de T Acad. des Sciences," pour 1753, p. 78; " Franklin in France," 1888, 
Part. I. p. 5. 

A.D. 1753. Canton (John), an English savant (1718-1772), 
announces his most important discovery that vitreous or resinous 
electricity may be produced at will in the same tube. This he 
proves on taking a tube, which had been roughened by grinding it 
with thin sheet-lead and flour-of-emery mixed with water, and 
which developed vitreous electricity when rubbed with dry oil silk, 
and resinous or negative electricity when rubbed with new flannel. 
Rough quartz will, it is said, show like results. He also took a 
tube, of which only one-half had been made rough while the other 
half was polished, and he demonstrated that the different electricities 
are produced at a single stroke with the same rubber. 

He likewise discovered that the exciting power of the rubber or 
cushion of the electrical machine will be very greatly increased by 
applying to it an amalgam of mercury and tin mixed with a little 
chalk or whiting (see Winckler, at A.D. 1733, for the introduction 
of the cushion). 

His very remarkable experiments upon many descriptions of 
tourmaline, reported to the Royal Society in December 1759, were 
followed by many others detailed by Priestley, at pp. 298-301 of 
his " History of Electricity," London, 1775, and Canton was the 
first to discover the electrical properties of the topaz, which latter 
were made known during the early part of the year 1760. (Consult 
Wilhelm Hankel, " Uber die therm, eigen. des Topases," Leipzig, 

He was also the first to establish properly the fundamental 
fact of electrification by induction, or, as he terms it, " relating 
to bodies immerged in electric atmospheres," which afterward led 
Wilcke (A.D. 1757) and ^Epinus (A.D. 1759) to the method of charging 
a plate of air like a plate of glass, and to make the most perfect 
imitation of the phenomena of thunder and lightning (George Adams, 
"Essay on Electricity," London, 1799, pp. 351-356; Noad, 
" Manual," Chapter I, and Priestley, " History," etc., s. 5). The 
paper containing an account of Canton's experiments was read 
before the Royal Society, December 6, 1753. The principle enounced 
is that " the electric fluid, when there is a redundancy of it in any 
body, repels the electric fluid in any other body when they are 
brought within the sphere of each other's influence and drives it 


into the remote parts of the body; or quite out of it, if there be any 
outlet for that purpose. In other words, bodies immerged in electric 
atmospheres always become possessed of the electricity contrary 
to that of the body in whose atmosphere they are immerged/ 1 

Canton is the first to show that the air of a room can be electrified 
either positively or negatively, and can be made to retain the 
electricity when received. He thus explains his method : " Take 
a charged phial in one hand and a lighted candle insulated in the 
other, and, going into any room, bring the wire of the phial very 
near to the flame of the candle and hold it there about half a minute, 
then carry the phial and candle out of the room and return with 
the pith balls (suspended by fine linen threads) held out at arm's 
Jength. The balls will begin to separate on entering the room and 
will stand ant nch and a half or two inches apart when brought near 
the middle of it." 

The construction of artificial magnets by Canton, through the 
combination of the Duhamel (A.D. 1749) and the Michell (A.D. 1750) 
methods, as well as without the aid of natural loadstones or artificial 
magnets, is detailed by Noad at Chapter XV of his " Manual," 
London, 1859. 

REFERENCES. Phil. Trans., Vol. XXXV. p. 137 (Berlinghicri, V. L.) ; 
Vol. XXXVII. p. 294 (Marcel, A.); Vol. XLVIL p. 31; Vol. XLVIII 
part i. pp. 350, 356, and Part II. pp. 780, 782 and 784, also Vol. XLIX. 

part i. p. 300; Vol. LI. pp. 398, 403, and Vol. LII. part ii. pp. 457, 461 ; 

and the abridgments of " " 

pp. 421, 609; A.D. 172 

Philos. and the Mechanical Arts," by Thos. Young, London, 1807, Vol. 

and the abridgments of Hutton, Vol. X. pp. 131, 421, 532; Vol. XL 
421, 609; A.D. 1722, and A.D. 1752; " A Course of Lectures on Nat. 

I. p. 372 ; II. pp. 64, 243 ; " The Electrical Researches of Hon. Hy. Caven- 
dish," 1879, Nos. 117, 205; Descriptions and Drawings of the various 
electric friction machines can be seen in Priestley's " History," Plates 
IV-VIII, and in Albrecht's " Geschichte d. Electricitat," 1885, pp. 20-30; 
Ada Acad. Petr., L, 1778 ; " Gentleman's Magazine " for Sept. 1759. See 
likewise the PhiL Trans, for Monday, January 21, 1666, p. 375, and 
George Adams' " Essay on Electricity," etc., London, 1799, p. 579, for 
method of making the artificial Bolonian stone or Canton's phosphorus. 

A.D. 1753. Beccaria (Giovanni Baptista) (1716-1781), a very 
ingenious and industrious Italian electrician and astronomer, is 
the author of several quite important works on electricity. 

Father Beccaria, as he is sometimes called from having been a 
member of the religious order of the Pious Schools, proved at the 
time to be the most indefatigable follower of Franklin in the study 
of atmospheric electricity. He was the first who recorded the 
phenomena of thunderstorms, and his many observations thereon 
are detailed throughout Part I. period x. and s. 10 of Priestley's 
great work on electricity. Beccaria says that all clouds, whether 
of thunder, rain, snow or hail, are formed by the electric fluid; 
that the electric matter is continually darting from the clouds in 


one place at the same time that it is discharged from the earth in 
another; and that the clouds serve as conductors to convey the 
electric fluid from those places of the earth which are overloaded 
with it to those which are exhausted of it. Having shown that the 
polarity of the magnetic needle is determined by the direction in 
which the electric current has passed through it, he suggests taking 
the polarity acquired by ferruginous bodies as a test for ascertaining 
the kind of electricity with which the thunder cloud is charged. 

He also shows that the meteor called a falling star is an electrical 
appearance, explains the cause of the peculiar noise attending the 
electric spark, and states that the passage of electricity is not instan- 
taneous through the best conductors. He found a spark to occupy 
at least half a second in passing through 500 feet of wire, and six 
and a half seconds through a hempen cord of the same length, 
although when the cord was dampened it passed through it in two 
or three seconds. 

He was the first to show the electric spark while in its passage 
through water, and he observed that the water sank in the tubes 
whenever a spark passed from one to the other as the air was repelled 
by the electric fluid. He found the effect of the electric spark upon 
water greater than the effect of common fire on gunpowder, and 
says he does not doubt that, if a method could be found of managing 
them equally well, a cannon charged with water would be more 
effective (" dreadful ") than one charged with gunpowder. 

He demonstrates that air, contiguous to an electrified body, 
gradually acquires the same electricity; that the electricity of the 
body is diminished by that of the air; that there is mutual 
repulsion between air and the electric fluid, and that the latter, in 
passing through any portion of air, creates a temporary vacuum. 

The production of what he calls his new inventive phosphorus 
and the method he employs for revivifying metals, are described, 
respectively, at pp. 365 and 282 of his " Lettere deir elettricismo." 

REFERENCES. Beccaria, " Lettere," etc., Bologna, 1758, pp. 146, 
etc., 193, 266, 268, 290, 310, 345; likewise his " Elettricismo Artinciale," 
Turin, 1753, pp. no, 114, 227; Phil. Trans, for 1760, Vol. LI. p. 514; 
1762, p. 486; 1766, Vol. LVI. p. 105; 1767, Vol. LVII. p. 297; 1770, 
Vol. LX. p. 277; 1771, p. 212, also Hutton's abridgments, Vol. XI. 
p. 435 ; Vol. XII, pp. 291, 445 ; Vol. XIII. p. 50; Wartmann, " M6m. sur 
les Etoiles filantes ; Humboldt, " Relation historique," Tome I ; Lardner, 
" Lectures," Vol. I. pp. 429-444; Sturgeon's Annals, Vol. VI. pp. 415- 
420, 425-431, and Vol. VIII. p. 180; Noad, "Manual," London, 1859, 

. 197; Louis Cotte, " Observation . . ." Paris, 1769 and 1772; " Mem. 
e Paris " for the same years and Jour, de Phys. for 1783 ; Ant. Maria 
Vassalli-Eandi, " Notizia sopra la vita . . , di Beccaria," 1816; Carlo 
Barletti, " Nuove Sperienze . . ."Milano, 1771 ; " Biog. Gne"rale," Vol. V. 
pp. 77-78; "The Electrical Researches of Hon. Henry Cavendish," 
Cambridge, 1879, No. 136; Hale, " Franklin in France," Boston, 1888, 


Part I. p. 447; Humboldt, " Cosmos," London, 1859, Vol. I. pp. 113- 
136, 202, 337; Vol. V. pp. 217-219, for the observations of Beccaria, 
Rozier, Kepler, Benzenberg, Brandes, Bogulawski, Nicholson, Arago and 
others on atmospheric electricity, aerolites, etc. See likewise Beccaria's 
letters to Jean Claude Fromond, the Italian physicist (1703-1795), 
relating his experiments tending to prove that electric motions do not 
occur in vacua, also his letters to the Princess Giuseppina di Carignano 
on the electricity of the moon, as well as to Jean Baptistc Le Roy and to 
Jacopo Bartolommeo Beccari relative to experiments with his kite; 
" Scelta di Opuscoli," of Amoretti, Campi, Fromond and Soave, Vols. 
XIX. XXI. XXXII.; " Opuscoli Scelti," II. 378; III. 243, 284, 377; 
V. 19. 

A.D. 1753. Bazin (Gilles August in), French physician and 
naturalist, publishes, at Strasbourg, an illustrated treatise on 
Magnetic Currents (" Description des Courants Magnetiques," etc.), 
which also contains his observations upon the magnet, and a supple- 
ment to which appears during the year 1754. 

REFERENCES. " La Grande Encyclop6die," Vol. V. p. 974; Michaud, 
" Biog. Univ.," Vol. III. p. 353; Ninth " Britannica," Vol. XV. p. 242. 

A.D. 1753. C. M., i.e. Charles Morrison and not Charles 
Marshall, of Greenock, Scotland, writes, from Renfrew, February i, 
I 753> to the Scots' Magazine, a letter entitled " An Expeditious 
Method of Conveying Intelligence," wherein is first suggested a 
practical manner of transmitting messages by frictional electricity. 

A full copy of this letter appears at pp. 7-9 of Robert Sabine's 
" Electric Telegraph," London, 1872, and at p. 9, 103, No. 570, of 
the Scientific American Supplement for December 4, 1886, the last- 
named also reproducing some correspondence establishing the 
identity of Charles Morrison which was found in the papers of Sir 
David Brewstcr. 

In the article of Auguste Gurout, which appeared in La Lumiere 
Electrique early in 1883, C. M. is alluded to as Charles Marshall. 
This is likewise the case in Johnson's Encyclopaedia, 1878, Vol. IV. 
p. 757. Fahie gives (" History of the Electric Telegraph," London, 
1884, pp. 68-77) a frdl account of the many inquiries instituted to 
establish the identity of C. M., which he admits to stand for Charles 
Morrison, although, at p. 81 of the same work, is given a letter of 
Sir Francis Ronalds alluding to Charles Marshall, of Renfrew. An 
article in Cornhill Magazine, Vol. II fcr 1860, pp. 65-66, speaks of 
an elderly Scotch lady who remembered a very clever man named 
Charles Marshall, who could make " lichtnin' write an' speak " and 
who could " licht a room wi' coal-reek " (coal-smoke). 

In his remarks upon the afore-named letter, made during the 
year 1859, Sir David Brewster says : " Here we have an electric 
telegraph upward of a hundred years old, which at the present day 
would convey intelligence expeditious!}', and we are constrained to 


admit that C. M. was the inventor of the electric telegraph. . . . 
Everything done since is only improvement." 

REFERENCES. Scots' Magaz., XV. p. 73 ; " Le Cosmos," Paris, Feb. 17, 
1854; " Diet, of Nat. Biog.," Vol. XXXIX. p. 107; Alhenaum of Nov. 5, 
1864.; Lesagc, at A.D. 1774; Th. Du Moncel, " Expose des applications 
de 1 electricite," Paris, 1874, Vol. III. pp. i and 2. 

A.D. 1754. Diwisli (Prokop), Diviss Divisch (Procopius), a 
monk of Seuftenberg, Bohemia (1696-1765), erects, June 15, 1754, a 
lightning protector upon the palace of the curator of Prenditz, 
Moravia. The apparatus was composed of a pole surmounted by 
an iron rod supporting twelve curved up branches and terminating 
in the same number of metallic boxes filled with iron ore and closed 
by a boxwood cover traversed by twenty-seven sharp iron points 
which plunged at their base in the ore. All the system of wires 
was united to the earth by a large chain. The enemies of Diwish, 
jealous of his success at the court of Vienna, excited the peasants 
of the locality against him, and, under the pretext that his lightning 
rod was the cause of the great drought, they made him take down the 
lightning rod which he had utilized for six years and then imprisoned 
him. What is most curious is the form of this first lightning rod, 
which is of multiple points, like the one M. Melseu afterward invented. 

REFERENCES. Poggendorff, Vol. I. p. 580, for Procopius Divisch's 
" Erfand einen Wetter Ableitcr"; Scientific American, Sept. 10, 1887, p. 
1 60; " Kronika Prace," by Pokorny, of Prague; " Historical Magazine," 
Feb. 1868, Art. XII. p. 93 ; " Prague News," for 1754, art. of Dr. Scrinci. 

A.D. 1754. ^Ammersin (Rev. Father Windelinus), of Lucerne, 
Switzerland, announces in his " Brevis relatio de electricitate," 
etc., that wood properly dried till it becomes very brown is a non- 
conductor of electricity. We have already mentioned the observa- 
tion made by Benjamin Wilson (A.D. 1746) that, when a dry, warm 
piece of wood is broken across, one of the pieces becomes vitreously 
and the other resinously electrified. 

Ammersin advises boiling the dried wood in linseed oil or covering 
it with varnish to prevent the possible return of moisture, and he 
states that wood thus treated seems to afford stronger appearances 
of electricity than does even glass (Phil. Trans., Vol. LII. part i. 
P- 342). 

REFERENCES. Ammersin, " Kurze Nachricht," etc., pub. at Basel, 
1771, and translated the same year by Jallabert, who embodied it in his 
" Versuche iiber die Elektricitat," etc. 

A.D. 1754. In his " Dissertations sur rincompatibilite* de 
1'attraction," etc., Le Pere Gerdil, Professor of Philosophy in the 
Royal University of Turin, speaks of agencies of which we shall 


never know anything and of others with which we shall inductively 
become acquainted, although we shall always ignore many of their 
respective quantities, qualities and differences. He says that the 
electric fluid explains the sympathy known to exist between amber 
and straws shown by the analogy observed between electricity and 
magnetism to be the same as that existing between iron and the 

A.D. 1754. Mr. Strype produces the sixth and last edition of 
the original " Survey of London/' by John Stow, which first appeared 
during the year 1598. 

In his account of Cornehill Ward, allusion is made to the " fair 
new steeple " of the Church of Saint Michael th' Archangel, " begun 
to be built in the year 1421," and, at p. 74, occurs the following : 
" As I have oft heard my father report, upon St. James' night, 
certain men in the loft next under the bells, ringing of a peal, a 
tempest of lightning and thunder did arise, an ugly shapen sight 
appeared to them, coming in at the South window and lighted on 
the North, for fear whereof they all fell down and lay as dead for 
the time, letting the bells ring and cease of their own accord ; when 
the ringers came to themselves, they found certain stones of the 
North window to be razed and scratched, as if they had been so 
much butter, printed with a lion's claw; the same stojies were 
fastened there again and so remain to this day." 

In one of the notes to William T. Thorns' reprint of the above- 
named " now perfectly invalyable " work, he says : " It is quite clear 
from the tone in which Stow speaks of this ' ugly shapen sight ' 
and the marks ' printed with a lion's claw/ that he suspected this 
instance of the power of the electric fluid to be nothing less than a 
visitation from the foul fiend himself." 

Speaking of St. Paul's Cathedral, Stow tells us that its pulpit cross 
" was by tempest of lightning and thunder defaced," and that " on 
Wednesday, the fourth of June (in the year 1561), betweene three, 
four and five of the clock, in the after-noone, the steeple of Paule's 
in London, being fired by lightning brast forth (as it seemed to the 
beholders) two or three yards beneath the foote of the crosse, and 
from thence burnt downe the speere to the stone worke and bels, 
so terribly, that within the space of foure houres, the same steeple 
with the roofes of the church . . . were consumed." Very curious 
and interesting reading will be found in the " Burnynge of Paule 
Church, London, in 1561, and the iiii day of June, by lyghtnynge at 
three of the clocke . . ." by Wyllyam Seres, London, 1563; as well 
as in his previous work on like subject, published in 1561. See 
Report in " Archseologia," London, 1794, Vol. XI. pp. 72-86; 


likewise the entry at A.D. 1769, relative to another lightning stroke 
in 1772. 

Stow is perhaps best known by his " Annales, or a Generalle 
Chronicle of England." In that portion of the latter work devoted 
to " the life and raigne of Queene Elizabeth " he states (London 
ed., 1631, p. 809) " that the knowledge and use of the sea compasse 
or needle was neither familiar nor understood but few yeeres before " 
the time of the navigators John Hawkins, Francis Drake, Martin 
Frobisher and Thomas Candish, and he adds (at p. 810) " that the 
honour of that invention, as touching the propertie of the Magneticall 
needle in- pointing towards the Poles is attributed by (Flavius) 
Blondus in his Italia Illmtrata (in the description of Campadia Felix) 
and by the great writer Paulus Jovius in lib. xxv. of his History 
in the end [sic], to the citizens of Amalfi. . . . The author's name 
is no more particularly recorded, then [sic] to be one Flavio ... for 
to him that honour is given by Francis Lopez, of Gomara, in his 
West Indian History, lib. i. cap. 9, and by Peter Ciezius, in lib. ii. 
cap. 9, of his Indian Story, and by Pandulph : Collenutius in his 
History of Naples, who, three hundred yeeres since, namely in the 
yeere of our Saviour 1305, discovered that propertie in the Magnes 
and applied it to navigation " (see, for Flavius Blondus : George 
Hakewill, " An apologie," etc., Oxford, 1635, lib. iii. s. 4, and 
lib. v. p. 60; " Blondi Flavii Fortiriensis . . . Italia Illustrata," 
1531, folio; Flavius Blondus (Flavio Biondo), "Roma Ristaurata 
et Italia Illustrata/' Vinezia, 1558, I2ino; Niceron, " Memoires . . . 
des hommes illustres," Paris, 1731, Vol. XVI. pp. 274-281). 

A contemporary of Flavius Blondus, by name Michael Angelus 
Blondus (1497-1560), author of " De Ventis et Navigatione," pub- 
lished at Venice in 1546, likewise alludes to the polarity of the needle, 
and gives a curious illustration of a mariner's compass at Chap. 
XXIV. p. 15, of the last-named work. (For M. A. Blondus, see 
" La Grande Encyclopedic," Vol. VI. p. 899.) 

Stow makes reference (p. 810) to Dr. Gilbert's De Magnete, 
to the " diuision of the plot or playne of the compasse into the 
thirty-two points," considered by " Goropius in his lib. iii. De 
Origin. Hispanicis, to have been the inuention of some Germane," 
and to the manner and " meanes saylers vsed to sayle, before they 
atteined the knowledge of the compasse." 

A.D. 1755. Eeles Eales (Henry), a prominent scientist of 
Lismore, Ireland, communicates to the Royal Society, on the 25th of 
April, 1755, a paper concerning the electrical property of steam and 
exhalations of all kinds. Eeles' theory of the electricity of vapour 
(" On Vesicles and Atmospheres of Electricity"), afterward devel- 


oped by Sir John Herschel, is fully explained in the " Encycl. Brit." 
article on " Meteorology " (par. 135, etc.), and is also alluded to at 
p. 43 of Harris' " Electricity," as well as at p. 153, Vol. XLIX. 
part i. of the Philosophical Transactions. 

Mr. Eeles showed, that while the Leyden jar is being charged, 
both the inside and the outside have the same kind of electricity 
and that the negative electricity does not appear until the machine 
has ceased turning. Eeles' hypothesis, extracted from his " Philo- 
sophical Essays," and from the analysis of a course of lectures 
delivered at Trinity College, Cambridge, by Mr. Atwood, is treated 
of at length by George Adams in the fourth chapter of his " Essay 
on Electricity," wherein pertinent allusion is also made to the 
fact of Mr. Eeles having been purposely shut out of Priestley's 
" History and Present State of Electricity." 

REFERENCES. Philosophical Transactions, Vol. XLVII. p. 524; 
Phil. Mag. and Journal, Vol. XLIV. p. 401 (1814). 

A.D. 1756. Le Chevalier Jacques C. F. de la Perrierc de Roiffe 
(not Reiffe') is the author of " Mechanismes de TElectricite et de 
1'Univers," published at Paris, wherein he pretends to account for 
all electrical phenomena. 

At p. 12 of his Preface, he curiously states that as everybody 
comprehends the distinction between elastic and non-elastic bodies, 
likewise the existence, nature and diversity of the properties of 
atmospheric fluids, with which all bodies are impregnated and by 
which they are surrounded, also the various expansive modes of 
activity to which they are subject, as well as their immiscibility as 
regards the surrounding air, without which latter they could not, 
however, subsist, he will in his new theory apply these principles to 
the mechanisms of electricity and of the universe as affected by the 
general laws and the invariable results attaching to shock and 

A.D. 1756. In the " Subtil Medium Proved," etc., of Mr. R. 
Lovett, lay-clerk of the cathedral church at Worcester, England, 
are shown numerous medical cures successfully made by electricity. 
He asserts that the electric fluid is almost a specific in all cases of 
violent pains, like obstinate headache, the toothache, sciatica, etc., 
but that it has not succeeded so well in rheumatic affections. He 
states that electricity properly administered has never caused injury, 
and he alludes to equally successful cures made by the Rev. John 
Wesley and by Dr. Wetzel, of Upsal. 

The well-known physician, Antonius de Haen, during several 
years' experience, made many cures of paralysis, St. Vitus' dance, 


etc., by the agency of electricity, as related in his Ratio Medendi, 
Vol. I. pp. 199, 200, 233, 234 and 389. Allusion has been made in 
these pages to the employment of electricity for medical purposes by 
Kratzenstein (A.D. 1745) and by Jallabert (A.D. 1749), and Priestley 
named many others who have likewise used it successfully in their 

REFERENCES. " Subtil Medium Proved," etc., pp. 76, 101 and 112; 
also his " Philosophical Essays," Worcester, 1761 and 1766, and his 
" Electrical Philosopher," 1774; Wesley's " Desideratum, or Electricity 
made Plain and Useful," p. 3 ; Joseph Veratti, " Observations . . . pour 
gueVir les paralytiques. . . ."La Have, 1750. 

A.D. 1757. Dr. Darwin, of Lichfield, addresses to the Royal 
Society of London a paper which is read May 5, 1757, and in which 
he gives an account of experiments to prove that the electric atmo- 
sphere does not displace air, and that all light, dry, animal and 
vegetable substances, in particular, are slow to part with the elec- 
tricity with which they have been charged (Phil. Trans., Vol. L. 
part i. pp. 252 and 351). 

A.D. 1757. Euler (Leonard), a native of Switzerland, who 
studied under the Bernoullis, and who succeeded Daniel Bernoulli 
as Professor of Mathematics at St. Petersburg, was undoubtedly 
one of the greatest analysts the world has ever produced (" Encycl. 
Brit./' Fifth Dissertation of the eighth edition, Vol. I. p. 742). 

He adopted the theory of Descartes that the magnetic fluid 
moves from the equator to the poles, and he endeavoured to determine 
mathematically the course of the magnetic needle over the earth's 
surface. He announces that " the magnetic direction on the earth 
follows always the small circle which passes through the given 
place and the two magnetic poles of the earth/' or, as worded by 
Sir David Brewster, that " the horizontal needle is a tangent to the 
circle passing through the place of observation and through the two 
points on the earth's surface where the dipping needle becomes 
vertical or the horizontal needle loses its directive power/ 1 

He entertained very peculiar ideas regarding the source of power 
in the loadstone, the pores of which he imagined were filled with 
valves admitting of the entrance of the current and preventing its 
return. His notions on this subject are best given in his own words : 
" Non-magnetic bodies are freely pervaded by the magnetic matter 
in all directions; loadstones were pervaded by it in one direction 
only . . . water, we know, contains in its pores particles of air ... 
air, again, it is equally certain, contains in its pores a fluid incom- 
parably more subtile, viz. czther, and which, on many occasions, 
is separated from it, as in Electricity ; and now we see a still further 


progression, and that ether contains a matter much more subtile 
than itself the magnetic matter which may, perhaps, contain 
in its turn others still more subtile. . . . The loadstone, besides a 
great many pores filled with ether, like all other bodies, contains 
some still much more narrow into which the magnetic matter alone 
can find admission. These pores are disposed in such a manner as 
to have communication with each other, and constitute tubes or 
canals through which the magnetic matter passes from the one 
extremity to the other. Finally, this matter can be transmitted 
through these tubes only in one direction, without the possibility of 
returning in the opposite direction. ... As we see nothing that 
impels the iron toward the loadstone, we say that the latter attracts 
it. It cannot be doubted, however, that there .is a very subtile, 
though invisible matter, which produces this effect by actually 
impelling the iron towards the loadstone/' 

REFERENCES. " Journal des Savants " for March and April 1868 ; 
Eulcr's " Letters," translated into English, 1802, Vol. I. p. 214, and 
Vol. II. pp. 240, 242, 244; " Berlin Memoirs," for 1746, p. 117; 1757, 

E. 175 ; 1766, p. 213 ; Poggendorff, Vol. I. p. 702 ; " Nova Act. Petropol." 
)r 1779, Vol. Ill; " Pidces de Prix de 1'Acad. des Sc. de Paris," Vol. V. 
Me'm. II and IX, this last-named publication containing likewise a 
joint Memoir of D. Euler, J. Bernoulli and E. F. Dutour upon the 
mariner's compass, which appeared in Paris during 1748; Whewell, 
" History of the Inductive Sciences," 1859, Vol. I. pp. 225, 367, 370; 
Vol. II. pp. 32, 40. 

His son, Albert Eulcr, censured Halley's magnetical hypothesis, 
and proposed, in 1766, a theory requiring the assumption of only 
two poles, distinct, however, from those of the terrestrial axis. 

A.D. 1757. Dollond (John), who was at first a silk weaver at 
Spitalfields, England, which occupation he abandoned in order to 
give his exclusive attention to scientific experimental studies, 
discovered the laws of the dispersion of light and constructed the 
first achromatic telescope as well as several improved instruments 
for magnetic observations. A full description of the most important 
of these, accompanied by illustrations, can be found in the articles 
of the " Encyclopaedia Britannica " on magnetic instruments. 

REFERENCES. Kelly's " Life of John Dollond," London, 1808 ; Phil. 
Mag., Vol. XVIII. p. 47; Thomas Thomson, "Hist, of Roy. Soc.," 
London, 1812, pp. 379-382 ; " Directions for using^e Electric Machine 
made by P. and J. Dollond," London, 1761. 

A.D. 1757. Wilcke (Johann Karl), a very distinguished 
scientist of Stockholm (1732-1796), introduces new phenomena re- 
specting the production of electricity produced by melting electrical 
substances, which he discovers in continuation of experiments begun 
by Stephen Grey. He gives the name of spontaneous to the electricity 


produced by the liquefaction of electrics, observing that the 
electricity of melted sulphur does not appear until it commences 
to cool and to contract, its maximum being reached at its point 
of greatest contraction. Melted sealing wax, he says, becomes 
negatively electrified when poured into glass, but, when poured 
into sulphur, it is positively electrified, leaving the sulphur negative 
(Sir Humphry Davy, " Bakerian Lectures," London, 1840, p. 36 
and notes). 

While in Berlin, he and ^Spinus investigate the subject of electric 
atmospheres, and they are led to the discovery that plates of air 
can be charged in the same manner as plates of glass. (See Canton, 
A.D. 1753.) This they did by suspending large wooden boards, 
which were covered with tin and whose flat surfaces were held 
parallel to and near each other. They found that upon electrifying 
one of the boards positively the other was always negative, and that 
with them could be given shocks like those produced by a Leyden 
jar. They likened the state of the boards to the condition of the 
clouds and the earth during a thunderstorm, the earth being in one 
state and the clouds in the opposite, the body of air between them 
answering the same purpose as the small plate of air between the 
boards or the plate of glass between the two metallic coatings of the 
Leyden jar. 

In Wilcke's treatise, alluded to below, he defines the two elec- 
tricities much more clearly than had previously been done. He 
distinguishes three causes of excitation, viz. warming, liquefaction 
and friction ; the spontaneous electricity already alluded to, he 
further says, is the result of the apposition or mutual action of two 
bodies, in consequence of which one of them is electrified positively 
and the other negatively; communicated electricity, on the other 
hand, is that which is superinduced upon the whole or part of a body, 
electric or non-electric, without the body having been previously 
heated, melted or rubbed, or without any mutual action between it 
and any other body. This distinction is, in general, very obvious, 
but Mr. Wilcke defines it throughout his work in a very clear manner, 
citing cases wherein they are frequently confounded. 

Wilcke and Anton Brugmans (A.D. 1778) first propounded the 
theory of two magnetic fluids, which was afterward established by 
Coulomb (A.D. 1785) and perfected by the great mathematician 
Poisson (A.D. 1811). The hypothesis of the two fluids supposes that 
a magnet contains minute invisible particles of iron, each of which 
possesses by itself the properties of a separate magnet. It is 
assumed that there are two distinct fluids the austral and the boreal 
which reside in each particle of iron. These fluids are inert and 
neutral when combined, as in ordinary iron, but when they are 


decomposed the particles of the austral attract those of the boreal, 
and vice versa, while they each repel one another. 

REFERENCES. Wilcke, " Disputatio inauguralis physica," etc., 
published Rostock, 1757, also his " Herrn Franklin's briefe von der 

both the " Schwcdischen Akad. Abhandhmgen," etc. (also Neue Abhand.) 
and the " Vetensk Acad. Handl." for 1758, 1759, 1761-1763, 1766- 
1770, 1772, 1775, 1777, 1780, 1782, 1785, 1786, 1790; "The Electrical 
Researches of lion. Hy. Cavendish," 1879, No. 134. 

A.D. 1759. Hartmann (Johann Friedrich), of Hanover, is the 
author of three works on electricity, published in that city during 
1759, 1764 and 1766, wherein he gives an account of several very 
curious electrical experiments. One of the most interesting of these 
demonstrates the progressive motion of the electrical discharge. 
When he passes the shock through many small cannon balls, some- 
times to the number of forty, placed upon small drinking goblets 
close by one another, all the sparks are seen and all the cracklings 
are heard at the same moment ; but when he substitutes eggs 
(preferably ten or twelve) for the balls, the progress of the explosion 
is visible, every two giving a flash and a report separately. 

He remarks that upon one occasion, as he re-entered a room 
which he had just before left, after making therein a number of 
experiments, he observed a small flame following him as he walked 
about swiftly while holding a lighted candle in his hand. The 
flame vanished whenever he stopped to examine it, and he attributed 
its appearance to the presence of sulphur thrown into the air by 
continued violent electrification. 

REFERENCES. Hartmann, " Abhandlung von der vcrwandschaft," 
etc., Hanover, 1759, pp. 58, etc., and 135 ; also his " Electrische experi- 
mcnte," etc., Hanover, 1766, and his " Anmcrkungen," etc., 1764, 410, 
p. 38; Friedrich Saxtorph, " Elcktricitatslare," Vol. II; Hamburgisches 
Magazin (also Neues Hamb. Mag.) for 1759, Vol. XXIV, and for 1761, 
Vol. XXV; " Nov. Acta Acad. Nat. Curios," Vol. IV. ss. 76-82, 126; 
" Gottingischcn gemein. Abhand.," von Jahr 1775. 

A.D. 1759. -Wesley (John), the founder of Methodism (1703- 
1791) and the most eminent member of a very distinguished English 
family, publishes " The Desideratum ; or Electricity made Plain and 
Useful, by a Lover of Mankind and of Common-sense." In this, he 
relates at great length the cures of numerous physical and moral 
ailments, attributed to the employment of the electric fluid, under 
such curious headings as " Electricity, the Soul of the Universe/' 
" Electricity, the Greatest of all Remedies/' etc. (" The Library of 
Literary Criticism/' C. W. Moulton, Buffalo, 1901-1902, Vol. IV. 
pp. 110-129). 


A.D. 1759. ^pinus (Franz Maria Ulrich Theodor) (1724-1802), 
celebrated German natural philosopher, member of the Scientific 
Academies of Berlin and St. Petersburg, publishes in the latter city 
his most important work, " Tentamen Theorise Electricitatis et 
Magnetismi," wherein he adopts, as did Wilcke, all the general 
principles of Franklin's theory of positive and negative electricities. 
Therein he also shows that the phenomena of electricity depend 
mainly upon the tendency of the fluid to attain a state of equilibrium 
by passing from bodies containing an excess to others which have 
less than the natural quantity ; that the electric fluid existing in the 
pores of all bodies moves without obstruction in non-electrics and 
with much difficulty in electrics; that all bodies contain a fluid 
whose particles mutually repel one another with forces decreasing 
as the distance between them increases, and, according to the same 
law, attract the particles of the bodies with which they are in 

It has already been shown that, in conjunction with Wilcke, he 
found the means of charging a plate of air. This experiment, 
suggested by some of the observations made by Canton and Franklin, 
led to what may be considered one of the greatest discoveries in the 
science of electricity, for in this was first demonstrated the grand 
principle of induction (see Grey at A.D. 1720), and the result led to 
Volta's discovery of the electrophorus. Volta, also, was the first 
to apply to an electrometer the apparatus invented by pinus for 
condensing electricity. 

iEpinus first discovers to its fullest the affinity existing between 
electricity and magnetism, explaining nearly all the phenomena of 
magnetism (" De Similitudine vis electricae et magneticae"; 
" Similitudinis effect uum vis magnet, et. elect. : novum specimen " 
in the " Novi Comment. Acad. Petrop.," Vol. X. p. 296). He 
improves upon the methods employed by both Duhamel and 
Michell for the construction of artificial magnets in a different 
line from that employed by John Canton, A.D. 1753. He lays the 
bar to be magnetized upon the ends of the opposite poles of two 
powerful field magnets, and places two bunches of magnetic bars 
upon the middle of the bar, separating the bunches by a piece of 
wood and keeping together the poles of each of the same name as 
that of the powerful fixed magnet nearest to it. These two bunches 
are then held at an inclination of 15 to 20 degrees, and are 
drawn away from each other to the end of the bar which is to 
be magnetized, so that each half of the bar receives the same 
number of strokes. When the bar is very thick, the process should 
be repeated upon its reverse, and in order to make the result more 
effective, the united eneis of the bars should at the outset be 


ground together, and pressure should be applied while the operation 
is going on. 

^Epinus was the first to discover the polarity of the tourmaline. 
After M. Lechman acquainted him with its attractive power, he 
made many experiments, of which he communicated the very 
important results, during the year 1756, to the Academy of Sciences 
and Belles-Lettres at Berlin. Up to this time but little was known 
regarding the necessity of heat to excite the tourmaline. ^Epinus 
found that he could electrify it to a high degree by placing the stone 
in boiling water, and that it was necessary to heat it to between 
99 i degrees and 212 degrees Fahrenheit to develop its attractive 
powers. One of the extremities of the tourmaline terminated by the 
six-sided pyramid then becomes charged with positive electricity, 
while the other extremity is negative. When the stone is of con- 
siderable size, flashes of light can be seen along its surface. 

M. De Rome Delisle, in his " Essai de Cristallographie," Paris, 
1772, p. 268, alludes to what has already been stated relative to 
the necessity of heating the tourmaline (see J. G. S. at A.D. 1707, 
and Lemery at A.D. 1717), and he gives an extract from the work 
attributed to Adanson, as mentioned at A.D. 1751. Delisle 's 
references embrace: "Act. Paris/' 1717, p. 9; "Act. Berolin," 
1756, p. 105; " Lettre du Due de Noya Caraffa a M. de Buffon," 
Paris, 1759; Ascendrecker, Aschentrecher, Aschenzicher (tire-cendre) , 
" Trip : Tourmaline, Vog. min." 191 ; " Act. Holmens," 1768, p. 7; 
besides, at pp. 209, 233 and 245 he speaks of the electrical and phos- 
phorescent properties of crystals, showing that the lapis lyncurius of 
the ancients is the hyacinth or zircon of to-day (see B.C. 321), and 
not, as many believe, either amber or belemnite (pierre de foudre, lapis 
fulminaris), while the hyacinth of old was a purple stone which, if 
now found, would be classed among the amethysts. 

REFERENCES. " Allgemeine Deutsche Biographic," Leipzig, 1875, 
Vol. I. p. 129; ^Epinus, " Sermo Acad. de similitudine," etc., 1758, and 
his " Recueil . . . sur la tourmaline," 1762; " Novi. Com. Petropol.," 
for 1761, 1764, 1768; " Acta Acad. Moguntinae," Vol. II. p. 255; Leit- 
head, " Electricity," p. 289; Phil. Trans., Vol. LI. p. 394, and Vol. LVII. 
part i. p. 315; " Encycl. Brit.," articles "Electricity" and "Mag- 
netism " ; Bigeon's report in the " Annales de Ch. et de Phys.," 2 e s6rie, 
Tome XXXVIII. p. 150; Van Swinden, "Recueil," etc., La Haye, 
1784, Vols. I and II passim; Becquerel in Annales de Chimie et de 

Physique, Vol. XXXVI. p. 50; Thomson, "Hist. Roy. Soc.," 1812, 
p. 184; "The Electrical Researches of the Hon. Henry Cavendish/' 
~ .mbridgc, 1879, Nos. i, 134, 340 and 549 
Thomson), " JEpinus atomized," in Phil. Mag. for March 1902, p. 257, 


Cambridge, 1879, Nos. i, 134, 340 and 549; Lord Kelvin (Sir Win. 
Thomson), " JEpinus atomized," in Phil. Mag. for Ma 
etc., and in Journal de Physique for Sept. 1902, p. 605. 

A.D. 1759. Symmer (Robert) assails the theory announced by 
Dufay (see Franklin, A.D. 1752), and shows, in a paper submitted 
to the Royal Society, December 20, 1759, that all the electrical 


phenomena are produced by two distinct but coexistent fluids not 
independent of, but counteracting each other. He says that equal 
quantities of these fluids are contained in all bodies while in their 
natural condition ; that when a body is positively electrified it does 
not hold a larger share of electric matter, but a larger portion of 
one of the active powers, and when negatively electrified a larger 
portion 6f the other, and not, as Franklin's theory supposes, an 
actual deficiency of electric matter. Symmer's theory is perhaps 
best explained in his own words, as follows : " It is my opinion that 
there are two electric fluids (or emanations of two distinct electric 
powers), essentially different from each other; that electricity does 
not consist in the efflux and afflux of these fluids, but in the accumula- 
tion of the one or the other in the body electrified ; or, in other words, 
it consists in the possession of a larger portion of the one or of the 
other power than is requisite to maintain an even balance within 
the body, and lastly, that according as the one or the other power 
prevails, the body is electrified in one or the other manner." 

Very curious reading may be had by reference to the volumes 
of the Philosophical Transactions named below, in which Symmer 
details many experiments with pieces of silk, as well as with white 
and coloured, new and newly cleansed silk and worsted stockings. 
Therein he shows his ability to charge the Leyden jar with either 
positive or negative electricity, according as he presents a black or 
white stocking to the wire of the phial. These experiments, which 
Symmer admits to have made for the express purpose of proving 
the existence of two electricities, further illustrate the phenomenon 
of electrical cohesion, although the latter is still better demonstrated 
by means of panes of ordinary glass. He thus expresses himself : 
" Upon these considerations, we may expect, from the experiment 
in hand, the means of determining whether the distinction of 
electricity into two different kinds is merely nominal, or if there is 
an essential difference between them; for, after the glass plates 
have been electrified in one position, so as to be incapable of receiving 
any more electricity, if they be inverted, and in that new position 
presented to the chain and wire, and the globe again be put in 
motion, according as one or other of those opinions hold, correspond- 
ing effects will follow/' 

Symmer also proves his two distinct powers of electricity by 
the experiment of passing the electric shock through a quire of 
paper instead of through a single card (" Lib. Useful Knowledge," 
London, 1829, " Electricity," p. 44). 

REFERENCES. " Electricity in the Service of Man," R. Wormell, 
London, 1900, p. xiv; Philosophical Transactions, Vol. LI. part i. 
pp. 171, 340, 366, 373, etc., 389, and Vol. LVII. p. 458; also Mutton's 


abridgments, Vol. XI. p. 405; Nollet, " Lettres," etc., Vol. III. p. 42; 
" Encycl. Brit.," article "Electricity"; "Library of Useful Know- 
ledge, London, 1829, " Electricity," Nos. 160 and 161. 

A.D. 1760. Mayer (Johann Tobias, Sen.) (1723-1762), one of 
the most celebrated German astronomers, director of the observatory 
at Gottingen, is the first to make known the law of the inverse square 
resulting from actual experimental investigation. This he does in 
a paper, " Inclination and Decimation of the Magnetic Needle, as 
deduced from theory," read before the Royal Society at Gottingen, 
wherein he states that the intensities of the magnetic attractions 
and repulsions vary inversely as the squares of the distances from 
the pole of a magnet. Consult " Magnetism," in the ninth edition 
of the " Encyclopaedia Britannica," for additional reference to the 
above paper, also section 14 of the same work for an account of 
Mayer's dipping needle as constructed by General Sabine. 

REFERENCES. Delambre's notice of the life of J. T. Mayer in the 
"Biographic Universelle " ; Hutton's " Mathem. Diet."; Montucla, 
" Histoire des Mathe*matiques " ; list of his works added to the 61oge 
pronounced by Kacstner, Gottingen, 1762 ; " Abhandlungen von Galvani 
und andern," Prague, 1793; Whewell, "History of the Inductive 
Sciences," 1859, Vol. II. pp. 206, 221 ; Coulomb, " Memoires Acad. 
Paris " for 1786 and 1787; " Royal Soc. Cat. of Sc. Papers," Vol. IV. 
pp. 311314; Lambert, " Reports of the Berlin Academy" for 1776. 

Mayer (Johann Tobias, Jr.), 1752-1830, is the author of Memoirs 
on the magnetic needle as well as upon many electrical experiments, 
of which details may be found in the Journal der Physik of Friedrich 
A. C. Gren and in the " Comment Soc. Gottingen recent." 

A.D. 1760. Delaval (E. H.) communicates between 1760 and 
1764 several papers to the London Royal Society in reference to 
experiments made for the purpose of ascertaining the conducting 
powers of a body in different states. Therein, he shows that animal 
and vegetable substances lose their conducting powers when reduced 
to ashes, and that while metals are the best conductors, their oxides 
are non-conductors. His experiments made with island (Iceland) 
crystal (well known for its extraordinary property of double refrac- 
tion), proved that it is affected by heat differently from other 
substances named, since the temperature necessary to render them 
electric makes the crystal non-electric. He had a piece of crystal 
of which, he said, one part became non-electric when greatly heated, 
while the other part, with the same or even a much greater heat, 
remained perfectly electric. These experiments did not, however, 
succeed with Sir Torbern Bergman, who repeated them with great 
care and who found that island crystal was a conductor in all cases, 
to whatever degree of heat it was exposed. 


REFERENCES. Phil. Trans., Vol. LI. part i. p. 83; Vol LII. part i. 
PP- 353 etc., and part ii. p. 459; also Vol. LIII. part i. pp. 84-98; and 
Hutton's abridgments, Vol. XI. pp. 334, 589; Vol. XII. p. 140; Thomas 
Thomson, "Hist, of Roy. Soc.," p. 443; Thos. Young, "Course of 
Lectures," 1807, Vol. II. p. 679, for notes on Dr. Wm. H. Wollaston's 
paper concerning the double refraction of Iceland crystal. 

A.D. 1760-1762. Bergman Bergmann(Torbern Olof), cele- 
brated Swedish astronomer, naturalist and chemist, writes several 
letters to Mr. Wilson, which are read before the Royal Society, 
Nov. 20, 1760, and March 18, 1762, wherein he alludes to the possi- 
bility of electrifying plates of ice in the same manner as plates of 
glass. In a subsequent letter he details experiments with silk 
ribbons of different colours, almost as curious as those of which an 
account has already been given (by Symmer at A.D. 1759), and from 
which he concludes that there is a certain fixed order regarding 
positive and negative electricity in which all bodies may be placed 
while other circumstances remain unchanged. 

REFERENCES. Bergman's " Bemerkung . . . Islandischen Krys- 
tales/' " Comment . . . electrica turmalini," " Elektrische Verstiche," 
etc., and his other works referred to in the Philosophical Transactions, 
Vol. LI. p. 907; Vol. LIII. p. 97; Vol. LIV. p. 84; Vol. LVI. p. 236; also 
Hutton's abridgments, Vol. XI. pp. 506, 705; Vol. XII. pp. 109, 343; 
" Nova Acta Soc. Upsal.," " K. Schwedischen Akad. Abhand.," " Aus 
dein Schwed. Magazine," Phil. Mag., IX. p. 193; " Eng. Cycl.," 
Vol. I. pp. 664-665; Gmelin's "Chemistry," Vol. 1. p. 320; Thomas 
Thomson, " Hist, of the Royal Society," London, 1812, pp. 444, 475 

A.D. 1761. The many experiments made at this period by 
Ebenezer Kinnersley, of Philadelphia, relative to the two contrary 
electricities of glass and sulphur, are endorsed by his close friend 
Benjamin Franklin in his Letters at pp. 99, 100 and 102-105. He 
makes several curious observations on the elongation and fusion 
of fine iron wires whenever a strong charge is passed through them 
while in a state of tension, to which Dr. Watson makes special 
reference in a paper read before the Royal Society. He believes that 
lightning does not melt metal by a cold fusion, as Dr. Franklin and 
himself had formerly supposed, and that when it passes, for instance, 
through the blade of a sword, if the quantity is not very great, it 
may heat the point so as to melt it, while the broadest and the 
thickest part may not be sensibly warmer than before. 

To ascertain the effects of electricity upon air, Kinnersley devised 
an instrument which he called an electrical air thermometer, and 
which is described at p. 626, Vol. VIII of the 1855 " Encyclopaedia 
Britannica." With this he could show the sudden rarefaction which 
air undergoes during the passage of the electric spark through it, 


heat being produced without accompaniment of any chemical 
change in the heated body. 

Some other important observations made by Kinnersley, who, 
besides being an intimate friend, was the original associate of Ben. 
Franklin, are summed up as follows : A coated flask containing 
boiling water cannot be charged, the electricity passing off with the 
steam ; but when the water gets cold the flask may be charged as 
usual. A person in a negative state of electricity standing upon an 
electric, and holding up a long sharp needle out of doors in the dark, 
observes light upon the point of it. No heat is produced by electri- 
fying a thermometer, nor by passing shocks through large wire, 
but small wire is heated red-hot, expanded and melted (Phil. Trans. 
for 1763, Vol. LIII. p, 84; Thomson, " Hist. Roy, Soc.," p. 445). 

In the New York " Electrical Review " of May 13, 1905, will be 
found the following curious reference to the Boston Art Club exhibits 
of President R. H. W. Dwight : 

" Among these is an interesting broadside, which gives a sum- 
mary of two lectures on electricity by Ebenezer Kinnersley delivered 
in Faneuil Hall in September, 1751 the first lectures probably ever 
delivered on the then new subject of electricity. Kinnersley was 
an Englishman, who was head master in English literature in the 
College of Philadelphia, from 1753 to 1773, a student of science, 
who made a number of discoveries in electricity and invented a 
number of quaint electrical devices. He and Franklin were on 
intimate terms, and were closely associated in their electrical experi- 
ments. Kinnersley has been erroneously cited as an anticipator of 
Oersted's discovery of the deflection of a magnetic needle by an 
electric current. The former's experiment, however, was purely 
electrostatic. In the summary of these two lectures, among other 
things, it states that electricity ' is an extremely subtile fluid ; that 
it doth not take up any perceptible time in passing through large 
portions of space; that it is mixed with the substance of all- other 
fluids and solids of our globe ; that our bodies at all times contain 
enough of it to set a house on fire. 1 " 

The exhibits of President Dwight are : 

" An artificial spider animated by the electric fire so as to act like 
a live one ; a shower of sand which rises again as fast as it falls ; 
a leaf of the most mighty of metals suspended in the air, as is said 
of Mahomet's tomb; electrified money which scarce anybody will 
take when offered to them; a curious machine, acting by means 
of the electric fire, and playing a variety of tunes on eight musical 

This broadside of 1751 appears to antedate any other similar 
notice of electrical experiments. 


The " Electrical Review " of April 23, 1904, p. 621, had published 
copy of an advertisement from the Massachusetts Gazette of March 7, 
1765, giving notice of a course of lectures by David Mason, illustrated 
by " entertaining experiments on electricity similar to those cited 
in the broadside under date of 1751." The advertisement of 1765, 
here referred to, appears at A.D. 1771. 

REFERENCES. Sturgeon's " Lectures," London, 1842, p. 169; " The 
Electrical Researches of Hon. Henry Cavendish," 1879, Nos. 125, 137, 
213; Phil. Trans., Vol. LIII. part i. pp. 84-87; Vol. LIV. p. 208; 
Vol. LXIII, 1773, part i. p. 38; also the Hutton abridgments, Vol. XI. 
p. 702, and Vol. XIII. p. 370; Berthc" " 
1786, Vol. I. pp. 23, 33, 214, 217, 220. 

p. 702, and Vol. XIII. p. 370; Bertholon, " Elec. du Corps Humain," 
1786, ~~ " ~ 

A.D. 1762. Sulzer (Johann Georg), a Swiss philosopher, 
member of the Berlin Academy of Sciences, in his " Theory of 
Agreeable and Disagreeable Sensations " (" Theorie d. angenehmen 
u. unangenehmen Empfindungen," Berlin, 1762), thus expresses 
himself : " When two pieces of metal, one of lead and the other of 
silver, are so joined together that their edges make one surface, a 
certain sensation will be produced on applying it to the tongue, which 
comes near to the taste of martial vitriol (vitriol of iron) ; whereas 
each piece by itself betrays not the slightest trace of that taste " 
(F. C. Bakewell, " Manual of Electricity/' London, 1857, Chap. III. 
p. 28). 

The passage in the edition " Nouvelle Theorie des Plaisirs," 
published in 1767, is thus given by Sabine, " Electric Telegraph," 
1872, p. 15 : " On taking two pieces of different metals silver and 
zinc and placing one of them above and the other underneath his 
tongue, he found that, so long as the metals did not make contact 
with each other, he felt nothing; but that when the edges were 
brought together over the tip of his tongue, the moment contact 
took place and during the time it lasted, he experienced an itching 
sensation and a taste resembling that of sulphate of iron. ..." 
Sulzer does not appear to have been much surprised at the result, 
thinking it " not improbable that, by the combination of the two 
metals, a solution of either of them may have taken place, in con- 
sequence of which the dissolved particles penetrate into the tongue ; 
or we may conjecture that the combination of these metals occasions 
a trembling motion in the respective particles, which, exciting the 
nerves of the tongue, causes that peculiar sensation." 

And thus, remarks Pepper, a prominent fact has slept in obscurity 
from the time of Sulzer to the time of Galvani. 

REFERENCES. Izarn, "Manuel," Paris, 1804, p. 4; Sturgeon, 
Annals, Vol. VIII. p. 363 ; also note at p. 491 of Ronalds' " Catalogue " ; 
Mtm. de I'Acad. de Berlin, " Theorie Ge'ne'rale du Plaisir " ; also "Temple 


du Bonheur," published at Bouillon (Pays Bas), 1769, Tome III. p. 124, 
this last-named work being alluded to in the Journal des Debuts, 7 Vende- 
miaire, au X; Edm. Hoppe, " Geschichte," 1884, p. 128 ; C. H. Wilkinson, 
" Elements of Galvanism," Vol. I. p. 69, note; Albert's " Amer. Ann. 
d. Artz," Vol. II. Bremen, 1802. 

A.D. 1762. Ledru Comus, French Professor of Natural 
Philosophy, invents a mode of telegraphing which is described and 
fully illustrated in Vol. I of Guyot's " Nouvelles Recreations 
Physiques et Mathematiques," Paris, 1769; as well as at p. 278 of 
" Memoires, Correspondance et Ouvrages Inedits de Diderot," Paris, 
1821, in one of the letters to Mile. Voland dated July 28, 1762. 

His apparatus consisted of two dials, each bearing upon it 
twenty-five letters of the alphabet, which were moved by the agency 
of magnets and of magnetized needles ; but Auguste GueYout con- 
siders the contrivance to have been merely a speculative one, as 
will be seen by his article, reproduced from " La Lumiere Electrique " 
of March 3, 1883, in No. 384 of the " Scientific American Supple- 
ment. 1 ' 

REFERENCES. Journal de Physique for 1775, Vols. V and VI; for 
1776, Vol. VII; and for 1778, Vol. I; " Scelta di Opuscoli," Milano, 

A.D. 1765. Cigna (Giovanni Francesco), native of Mondovi, 
Italy, and nephew to the electrician Beccaria (A.D. 1753), became 
secretary to the society of savants who gave birth to the Royal 
Academy of Sciences at Turin, and whose Memoirs contain his 
work, " De novis quibusdam experiments electricis," 1765. 

At pp. 31-65 of the above Memoirs is given a full account of 
Cigna's many curious observations made with silk ribbons placed 
in various positions, and in contact with different surfaces, instead 
of with the silk stockings employed by Symmer (A.D. 1759). He 
thus supplies the main defect of Dufay's theory (A.D. 1733) by 
proving that the two opposite electricities are produced simul- 
taneously. On p. 47 of the same work will be found a report of 
Cigna's experiment with ice to ascertain whether electric substances 
contain more electric matter than other bodies. 

REFERENCES. Vol. III. p. 168 of Nollet's " Letters," for an 
account of his observations upon the electric attraction and repulsion 
between conducting substances immersed in oil; as well as Chap. II. 
s. 3., vol. i. of Van Swinden's " Receuil," etc., published at La Haye, 
1784. Should also be consulted : Cigna's " Memoirs on Electricity and 
Magnetism" in the "Miscellanea . . . Taurinensia," and the several 
communications made by him to Priestley, Lagrange and others in 1 775 
concerning Volta's electrophorus ; likewise " Memorie istorische . . , di 
Gianfrancesco Cigna de Antonmaria Vassalli Eandi," Torino, 1821. 

A.D. 1766-1776.- Lambert (Johann Heinrich), a profound 
German mathematician, native of Upper Alsace, publishes in 


Vol. XXII of the " Reports of the Berlin Academy " two beautiful 
Memoirs upon the " Laws of Magnetic Force " and upon the " Cur- 
vature of the Magnetic Current/' both of which, according to 
Dr. Robison, would have done credit to Newton himself. 

In the first Memoir, says Harris, the author endeavours to 
determine two very important laws ; one relating to the change of 
force as depending upon the obliquity of its application, the other 
as referred to the distance. In the second Memoir the curves of 
the magnetic current are investigated by the action of the directive 
or polar force of a magnet upon a small needle. Lambert concludes 
that the effect of each particle of the magnet on each particle of the 
needle, and reciprocally, is as the absolute force or magnetic intensity 
of the particles directly, and as the squares of the distances inversely. 

Noad states (" Manual," London, 1859, p. 580) that Lambert's 
deductions were confirmed twenty years later by Coulomb, through 
the agency of his delicate torsion balance, and more recently (about 
the year 1817) by Prof. Hanstcen, of Christiania. 

Previous to the above-named date, in 1760, Lambert had pub- 
lished, both at Leipzig and at Augsburg, his " Photometria, sive de 
Mensura et Gradibus Luminis, Colorum et Umbrae/' the sequel to 
a tract printed two years before, wherein he indicates the mode of 
measuring the intensity of the light of various bodies. The cele- 
brated mathematician and astronomer, Pierre Bouguer (1698-1758), 
who had published, in 1729, his " Essai d'Optique," etc., which 
was greatly enlarged in his " Traite," etc., brought out by La Caille 
in 1760, may be considered the founder of this branch of the science 
of optics, to which the name photometry has been given by English 
writers. The photometer designed by Sir Benjamin Thompson, 
Count Rum ford (entered at A.D. 1802), has been described in Phil. 
Trans, for 1794, Vol. LXVII. His method is to cast two shadows 
of a given object near each other on the same surface, the lights 
being removed to such distances that the shadows appear equally 

REFERENCES. Sir John Leslie's " Fifth Dissertation " in the eighth 
" Encycl. Brit." ; Count Rumford's photometer illustrated at Plate 
XXVII. figs. 387, 388, vol. i. of Dr. Thomas Young's " Course of 
Lectures," London, 1807; also Vol. II. pp. 282 and 351 of the same work, 
concerning photometry generally ; Dredge and others, " Electric Illumina- 
tion," etc. (chiefly compiled from London Engineering), Vol. II. pp. 101- 
117; Brewster's " Edin. Jour, of Sc.," 1826, Vol. II. p. 321; Vol. III. 
p. 104; Vol. V. p. 139, for William Ritchie's articles on the photometer 
of Mr. Leslie, and relative to an improved instrument upon the principles 
of Bo-uguer (Edin. Transactions, Vol. X. part, ii.) ; Lambert's biography 
and the article " Magnetism " in the " Encycl. Brit." ; Harris, " Rudim. 
Magn.," Part III. pp. 20, 33, 191-203. 

It may be added that all the valuable manuscripts left by 


Lambert were purchased by the Berlin Academy, and were after- 
ward published by John Bernoulli, a grandson of the celebrated 
John Bernoulli alluded to at A.D. 1700. 

A.D. 1766. Lullin (Amadous), in his " Dissertatio physica de 
electricitate," Geneva, 1766, at p. 26, alludes to Beccaria's experi- 
ments, saying that he produced much greater effects with the electric 
spark by passing the latter through oil instead of water : oil being 
a much worse conductor, the spark in it is larger. At p. 38 of the 
same work he details the experiments made to prove the correctness 
of Mollct's doctrine regarding the constant motion of electrical 
atmospheres, and at p. 42 are given his experiments to show the 
production of electricity in the clouds. With a long insulated pole 
projecting from the mountain side he observed, among other effects, 
that when small clouds of vapour produced by the sun's heat 
touched only the end of the pole the latter was electrified, but that 
it was not affected if the entire pole was covered by the vapour 
(" Lib. Useful Knowledge/' " Electricity," Chap. XL Nos. 154, etc.). 

Lullin, it is said, proposed a modification of Reusser's plan of 
telegraphing, in manner stated at p. 69 of Reid's 1887 " Telegraph 
in America/' 

A.D. 1766. L'Abbe Poncelet, a native of Verdun, France, 
publishes at Paris " La Nature dans la formation du Tonnerre/' etc., 
wherein he indicates a method of protecting from lightning residences, 
pavilions and other structures, by constructing them of resinous 
woods and lining them with either silk or waxed cloths. He quaintly 
remarks that as they thus present " on all sides resinous surfaces, 
which never receive phlogiston by communication, the latter 
(thunder and lightning), after having leaped lightly around the 
pavilion and finding itself unable to attack it, will probably depart 
in order to pursue its ravages elsewhere." 

REFERENCES. Scientific American Supplement, No. 66, p. 1053, for 
a copy of the frontispiece of the above-named work ; also Figuier, 
" Exposition et Histoire," etc., 1857, Vol. IV. pp. 234, 235. 

A.D. 1767. Bozolus (Joseph), an Italian Jesuit, Professor of 
Natural Philosophy at Rome, is the first (and not Cavallo, A.D. 1775) 
to suggest employing the active principle of the Leyden jar for the 
transmission of intelligence. 

His plan is to place underground two wires which are to be 
brought at each station close enough to admit of the passage of a 
spark. One of the wires is to be connected with the inner coating 
and the other with the outer surface of a Leyden phial ; the sparks 


observed at the opening between the wires being there made to 
express any meaning according to a preconcerted code of signals. 

REFERENCES. Latin poem entitled " Mariani Parthenii Electrico- 
rum," in six books, Roma, 1767, lib. i. p. 34 (describing the telegrafo 
elettrico scintillante) ; also Saturday Review, August 21, 1858, p. 190, and 
Cornhill Magazine for 1860, Vol. II. p. 66. 

A.D. 1767. Priestley (Joseph), the earliest historian of electrical 
science, publishes, by advice of Benjamin Franklin, the first edition 
of his great work, " The History and Present State of Electricity," 
of which there were four other separate enlarged issues, in 1769, 
1775, 1775 and 1794. During the year 1766 he had been given the 
degree of Doctor of Laws by the Edinburgh University and he had 
also, at the instance of Franklin, Watson and others, been made a 
member of the English Royal Society, which, a few years later, 
bestowed upon him the Copley medal. 

Speaking of the above-named work, Dr. Lardner says (" Lectures, 
1859, Vol. I. p. 136) : "This philosopher did not contribute materially 
to the advancement of the science by the development of any new 
facts ; but in his ' History of Electricity ' he collected and arranged 
much useful information respecting the progress of the science." 
Nevertheless, to him is due the first employment of the conductor 
supported by an insulating pillar, as described by Noad, who gives 
an account of Priestley's electrical machine at Chap. IV of his 
" Manual " ; and he is also the first to investigate upon an extensive 
scale the chemical effects of ordinary electricity. The observations 
of M. Warltire, a lecturer on natural philosophy, and Priestley's 
own experiments in this line, made by passing the electric spark 
through water tinged blue by litmus, also through olive oil, tur- 
pentine, etc., as well as his researches more particularly upon the 
gases and upon the influence of the electric fluid in expanding solid 
bodies, are detailed at the " Electricity " chapter of the " Encycl. 

At pp. 660-665 of the fourth edition of his " History," Priestley 
describes the experiments he made to illustrate what he called the 
lateral force of electrical explosions ; that is, the tendency of the 
fluid to diverge, as is the case with lightning when any material 
obstruction lies in its path. 

Perhaps the most important of all Dr. Priestley's electrical dis- 
coveries (Thomson, " Hist. Roy. Soc.," p. 445) was that charcoal is 
a conductor of electricity, and so good a conductor that it vies even 
with the metals themselves. When the conducting power of char- 
coal was tried by succeeding electricians, it was found to vary in the 
most unaccountable manner, sometimes scarcely conducting at all, 


sometimes imperfectly and sometimes remarkably well ; a diversity 
naturally indicating some difference in the nature of the different 
specimens of English charcoal (Priestley's "History," etc., Part VIIL 
s. 3). Charcoal being examined by Mr. Kirinersley (at A.D. 1761), 
was also by him observed to vary in its conducting power. 
Oak, beech and maple charcoal he found to conduct satisfactorily ; 
the charcoal from the pine would not conduct at all, while a line 
drawn upon paper by a heavy black lead pencil conducted pretty 
well (Phil. Trans., 1773, Vol. LXIII. p. 38). 

REFERENCES. Priestley's letter to Dr. Franklin (Phil. Trans., 
Vol. LXII. p. 360) concerning William Henley's new electrometer and 
experiments; likewise the Phil. Trans., Vol. LVIII. p. 68; Vol. LIX. 

S 3 - 57. 63 > Vol. LX. p. 192; Vol. LXII. p, 359; and the abridgments by 
utton, Vol. Xli. pp. 510, 600, 603; Vol. XIII. p. 36; " Trans, of the 
Amer. Phil. Soc.," O. S., Vol. VI. part i. p. 190, containing proceedings of 
the Society on the death of Joseph Priestley; Wilkinson's " Elements 
of Galvanism," etc., London, 1804, Vol. II. pp. 74-80; Noad's Lectures, 
No. 4, Knight's edition, pp. 182, 183; " Library of Useful Knowledge," 
London, 1829, Chap. " Electricity," pp. 41 and 45 ; " Library of Literary 
Criticism," C. W. Moulton, Buffalo, 1901-1902, Vol. IV. pp. 444-456; 
" Essays, Reviews and Addresses " by James Martincau, London, 1890, 
Vol. I. pp. 1-42; "Mem. dc 1'Institut " (Histoire), Tome VI. 1806, 
p. 29 for Elogium; " Essays in Historical Chemistry," T. E. Thorpe, 
London, 1894, pp. 28, no; " Science and Education," by Thos. Henry 
Huxley, New York, 1894, pp. 1-37; "Scientific Correspondence of 
Jos. Priestley," by H. C. Bolton, New York, 1902 ; Dr. Thos. H. Huxley, 
" Science Culture," 1882, p. 102; Warltire, in Muirhead's translation of 
Arago's " Eloge de James Watt," pp. 99, 100; also the appendix to the 
last-named work, p. 157 and note. 

A.D. 1767. Lane (Thomas Timothy), a medical practitioner 
of London, introduces his discharging electrometer, which is now to 
be found described and illustrated in nearly all works on electricity. 

It consists of a bent glass arm, one end of which is attached to a 
socket in the wire of the Leyden jar, while the other end holds a 
horizontal sliding brass rod, or spring tube, which bears a ball at 
each extremity. The rod is usually divided into inches and tenths, 
indicating the force of the discharge which takes place when the 
knob of the jar is placed in contact with the prime conductor of an 
electrical machine, and the charge is strong enough to leap from one 
to the other. In Mr. Lane's experiments the shocks were twice as 
frequent when the interval between the balls was one twenty-fourth 
of an inch as when twice as much : from which he concluded that 
the quantity of electricity required for a discharge is in exact pro- 
portion to the distance between the surfaces of the balls. 

A combination of the Lane and other electrometers was made 
by Mr. Cuthbertson, as shown at p. 528, Vol. II of Nicholson's 
Journal of Natural Philosophy, and at p. 451, Vol. LVII of the 
Philosophical Transactions. 


REFERENCES. Phil. Trans, for 1805; Hutton's abridgments, 
Vol. XII: p. 475; Cavallo, " Elements . v ; Phil." 1825, Vol. II. p 197; 
Harris, " Electricity," p. 103; (Monthly Magazine, December 1805, and 
Tilloch's Philosophical Magazine, Vol. XXIII. p. 253. 

The Hutton abridgments contain, at p. 308, Vol. XV, the 
description of a new electrometer by Abraham Brook. 

A.D. 1768. Ramsden (Jesse), a very capable English manu- 
facturer of mechanical instruments, member of the Royal Society 
and of the Imperial Academy of St. Petersburg, is said to be the 
first to construct an electrical machine wherein a plate of glass is 
substituted for the glass globe of Newton and of Hauksbee and 
for the glass cylinder of Gordon (at A.D. 1675, 1705 and 1742). 
The same claim which has been made for Martin de Planta, Swiss 
natural philosopher, appears to have no foundation. (See note at 
p. 401 of Ronalds' " Catalogue.") 

REFERENCES. Journal des S^avans, November 1788, p. 744; Phil. 
Trans., 1783; "Chambers' Encyclopaedia," 1868, Vol. III. p. 812; 
Mme. Le Breton, " Hist, et app. de I'ElcctriciteY' Paris, 1884, pp. 61, 62. 

A.D. 1768. Molenier (Jacob), physician to the French King, 
Louis XV, writes " Essai sur le Mecanisme de I'Electricite " for the 
purpose of showing the utility of the application of the electric 
fluid in medical practice. At p. 60 he explains the effects and results 
when applications are made more particularly to the nerves, and 
at pp. 65-67 he gives certificates of many of the cures he has effected 
of gout, rheumatism, tumours, cancers, loss of blood, as well as of 
pains and aches of various descriptions. 

REFERENCES. Jallabert (A. D. 1749); Lovett (A.D. 1756); Bertholon 
(A.D. 1780-1781); Mauduyt (A.D. 1781); Van Swinden, " Recueil," etc., 
La Haye, 1784, Vol. II. pp. 122-129 for the experiments of Sauvages, 
De La Croix, Joseph Elder von Herbert, H. Boissier and others; Thomas 
Fowler, " Med. Soc. of London," Vol. Ill ; M. Tentzel, " Collection 
Acade"mique," Tome XI; the works of L'Abbe* Sans, Paris, 1772-1778; 
M. de Cazdles Masar's " Me*moires et Recueils," published 1780-1788, 
and reproduced in Vols. II and III of the " Mdmoires de Toulouse"; 
Jacques H. D. Petetin, " Actes de la Soc. de Lyon," p. 230 ; M. Parting- 
ton, Jour, de Phys., 1781, Vol. I; Dr. Andrew Duncan's "Medical 
Cases," Edinburgh, 1784, pp. 135, 191, 235, 320; C. A. Gerhard, " Me"m. 
de Berlin," 1772, p. 141 ; Jour, de Phys., 1783, Vol. II; J. B. Bohadsch, 
" Dissertatio," etc., Prague, 1751; Phil. Trans, for 1752; Patrick 
Brydone, Phil. Trans, for 17^7; Geo Wilkinson, of Sunderland, "An 
account of good effects," etc., in Medical Facts, etc., 1792, Vol. III. p. 52 ; 
M. Carmoy, " Observ. sur 1'El. Med.," Dijon, 1784; M. Cosnier, M. 
Maloet, Jean Darcet, etc.; "Rapport," etc., 1783; Le Comus, "Dis- 
sertatio," etc., 1761; Le Comus, " Osservaziom," etc., 1776 (Jour, de 
Phys., 1775, Vols. V and VI ; 1776, Vol. VII ; 1778, Vol. I ; 1781, Vol. II) ; 
Ledru, "Sur le traitement," etc., 1783; Le Dr. Boudet, " De TElec. 
en Me*decine," conference faite a Vienne le 6 Octobre, 1883. 

A.D. 1769. Bancroft (Edward Nathaniel), a resident physician 
of Guiana, openly expresses the belief that the shock of the torpedo 


is of an electrical nature. He alludes (" Natural History of Guiana ") 
also to the gymnotus electricus, which, he says, gives much stronger 
strokes than the torpedo ; the shocks received from the larger animals 
being almost invariably fatal. 

The discharge of the gymnotus has been estimated to be equal 
to that of a battery of Leyden jars of three thousand five hundred 
square inches, fully charged. At a later date, the American physi- 
cians, Garden and Williamson, showed that as the fluid discharged 
by that fish affects the same parts that are affected by the electric 
fluid ; as it excites sensations perfectly similar ; as it kills and stuns 
animals in the same manner ; as it is conveyed by the same bodies 
that carry the electric fluid and refuses to be conveyed by others 
that refuse to take the fluid, it must be the electric fluid itself, and 
the shock given by the eel must be the electric shock. 

Humboldt, speaking of the results obtained by M. Samuel 
Fahlberg, of Sweden, says : " This philosopher has seen an electric 
spark, as Walsh and Ingen-housz had done before him at London, 
by placing the gymnotus in the air and interrupting the conducting 
chain by two gold leaves pasted upon glass and a line distant from 
each other " (Edinburgh Journal, Vol. II. p. 249) . Faraday, who gives 
this extract at paragraph 358 of his " Experimental Researches," 
says he could not, however, find any record of such an observation 
by either Walsh or Ingen-housz and does not know where to refer 
to that by Fahlberg. (See the note accompanying aforenamed 

REFERENCES. Annales de Chimie et de Physique, Vol. XI; Phil. 
Trans, for 1775, pp. 94, 102 (letter of Alexander Garden, M.D.), 105, 
395; " Acad. Berlin," 1770, 1786; fifteenth series Faraday's " Exper, 
Researches," read December 6, 1838; Wheldon's " Catalogue," No. 74, 
1870; Sir David Brewster's " Edin. Jour, of Science," 1826, Vol. I. 
p. 96, for the observations of Dr. Robert Knox ; G. W. Schilling : at 

ling's atre de morbo n Europa pen ignoto," 1770; 
ology " in the " Encycl. Brit.," 1859, Vol. XVII. p. 671; Aristotle 
(B.C. 341), Scribonius (A.D. 50), Richer (A.D. 1671), Redi (A.D. 1678), 
Kaempfer (A.D. 1702), Adanson (A.D. 1751); Sc. Am. Suppl., No. 24, 
P- 375 (for M. Rouget's observations on the gymnotus) and No. 457, 
p. 7300; M. Bajon, " Descrizione di un pesce," etc., Milano, 1775 (Phil. 
Trans., 1773, p. 481); M. Vanderlot's work on the Surinam eel, alluded 
to at p. 88 of " Voyage Zoologique," by Humboldt, who published in 
Paris, during 1806 and also during 1819 special works on the gymnotus 
and upon electrical fishes generally. 

A.D. 1769. Cuthbertson (John), English philosophical instru- 
ment maker, issues the first edition of his interesting work on 
electricity and galvanism. 

He is the inventor of the balance electrometer t employed for 
regulating the amount of a charge to be sent through any substance, 


as well as of an electrical condenser and of an apparatus for oxidating 
metals, all of which are respectively described at pp. 593, 614 and 
620, Vol. VIII. of the 1855 " Encycl. Brit." 

At the end of Part VI of his " Practical Electricity and Galvan- 
ism," Cuthbertson gives the conclusions he reached from his numerous 
experiments with wire. These, as well as Mr. George Adams' own 
observations (" Essay," etc., 1799, p. 285), proved that the quantity 
of electricity necessary to disperse a given portion of wire will be 
the same, even though the charged surface be greatly varied; and 
that equal quantities of electricity in the form of a charge will 
cause equal lengths of the same steel wire to explode, whether the 
jar made use of be of greater or less capacity (Nicholson's Journal, 
Vol. II. p. 217). 

During his many experiments Cuthbertson made the very 
extraordinary discovery that a battery of fifteen jars and containing 
17 square feet of coated glass, which, on a very dry day in March 
1796 could only be made to ignite from 18 to 20 inches of iron wire 
of TBTT part of an inch in diameter, took a charge which ignited 
60 inches when he breathed into each jar through a glass tube 
(Noad, "Manual," p. 122; also Cuthbertson, " Prac. Elec. and 
Magnetism," 1807, pp. 187, 188). 

REFERENCES. Cuthbertson's communication to the " Emporium of 
Arts," Vol. II. p. 193, regarding his experiments on John Wingfield's 
" New Method of Increasing the Charging Capacity of Coated Electric 
Jars "; Cuthbertson's " Electrictty," Parts VIII, IX and XI; Cuthbert- 
son's letter addressed to Nicholson's Journal, Vol. II. p. 526, also Phil. 
Mag., Vol. II. p. 251. for electrometers; " Bibl. Britan.," Vol. XXXIX. 
1808, p. 97; Vol. XLVII. 1811, p. 233; Cuthbertson's several works 
published at Amsterdam and Leipzig, 1769-1797, and alluded to in 
Phil. Mag., more particularly at Vols. XVIII. p. 358; XIX. p. 83 ; 
XXIV. p. 170; XXXVI. p. 259, as well as at p. 313, Vol. XII. of J B. 
Van Mons' Journal de Chimie ; Nicholson's Journal, Vols. II. p. 525 ; 
VIII. pp. 97, 205, and the New Series, Vol. II. p. 281 ; Gilbert's Annalen, 
Vol. III. p. i ; " Bibl. Brit. Sc. et Arts," Geneve, 1808, Vol. XXXIX. 
p. 118; Noad's "Manual," p. 118; Van Marum (A.D. 1785); Harris, 
"Electricity," p. 103, and his "Factional Electricity," p. 76; C. H. 
Wilkinson, " Elements of Galvanism," etc., London, 1804, Vol. II. 
pp. 242, 266-268; Phil. Trans., 1782, for A. Brook's electrometer, which 
apparatus is described in the latter's work published, under the head of 
" Miscellaneous Experiments," at Norwich, 1789, as well as in the 
" Electricity " article of the " Encycl. Britannica." 

A.D. 1769. St. Paul's Cathedral, London, is first provided with 
lightning conductors. Dr. Tyndall, who mentions this fact (Notes 
of Lecture VI, March 11, 1875) likewise states that Wilson, who 
entertained a preference for blunt conductors as against the views 
of Franklin, Cavendish and Watson, so influenced King George III 
that the pointed conductors on Buckingham House were, during 
the year 1777, changed for others ending in round balls. 


In 1772, St. Paul's Cathedral was struck by lightning, which 
" heated to redness a portion of one of its conductors consisting of 
a bar of iron nearly four inches broad and about half an inch thick." 
In 1764, the lightning had struck St. Bride's Church, London, and 
" bent and broke asunder an iron bar two and a half inches broad 
and half an inch thick " (Sturgeon, " Sc. Researches/' Bury, 1850, 
p. 360; Phil. Trans, for 1764 and 1762). 

The Rev. James Pilkington, Bishop of Durham, published in 
London a detailed account of the partial destruction of St. Paul's 
Church by lightning, June 4, 1561, which is also to be found at 
pp. 53-55 of Strype's " Life of Grindall," published in London, 1710, 
and of which an abstract appears under the A.D. 1754 date. 

REFERENCES. Sturgeon's Annals, Vol. X. pp. 127-131; also, Biog- 
raphy of John Canton in " Encycl. Britannica ; Sir John Pringle, at 
A.D. 1777; Hutton's abridgments of the Phil. Trans., Vol. XII. pp. 620- 

A.D. 1769. Mallet (Frederick) member of the Royal Society 
of Upsal and of the Stockholm Academy of Sciences, acting upon 
the observations of Anders Celsius (at A.D. 1740), is the first to make 
an attempt to determine the intensity of magnetism simultaneously 
at distant points. He ascertains that the number of oscillations 
in equal times at Ponoi, China (latitude, 67 degrees 4 minutes north ; 
longitude, 41 degrees east) are the same as at St. Petersburg, Russia 
(59 degrees 56 minutes north latitude; 30 degrees 19 minutes east 

REFERENCES. Walker, "Magnetism," Chap. VI; " Novi Comnien. 
Acad. Sc. Petropol.," Vol. XIV for 1769, part ii. p. 33; Le Monnier, 
" Lois du Magnetisme," etc., 1776, p. 50; " Biog. Univ.," Vol. XXVI. 
p. 258. 

A.D. 1770. The well-known work of Jas. Ferguson, F.R.S., 
which first appeared under the title of " Introduction or Lectures 
on Electricity/' now becomes still more popular under the head of 
" Lectures on Select Subjects/' etc. (Consult likewise his " Lectures 
on Electricity/ 1 corrected by C. F. Partington, with appendix, 
London, 1825.) 

In his first lecture he says that the most remarkable properties 
of the loadstone are : (i) it attracts iron and steel only ; (2) it 
constantly turns one of its sides to the north and the other to the 
south, when suspended to a thread that does not twist ; (3) it com- 
municates all its properties to a piece of steel when rubbed upon 
it without losing any itself. He cites the experiments of Dr. Hel- 
sham, according to whom, says he, the attraction of the loadstone 
decreases as the square of the distance increases. He also treats 
of electrical attraction generally, and reports in the sixth lecture 


having " heard that lightning, striking upon the mariner's compass, 
will sometimes turn it round and often make it stand the contrary 
way, or with the north pole towards the south. 1 ' 

A.D. 1770. Hell HehlHeylH6U (Maximilian), Hungarian 
scientist (1720-1792), member of the Order of Jesuits and Professor 
of Astronomy at Vienna, who had great faith in the influence of 
the loadstone, invented a singular arrangement of steel plates to which 
he afterward attributed the cure " with extraordinary success " of 
many diseases, as well as of a severe attack of rheumatism from 
which he himself had long suffered. 

He communicated his discovery to Friedrich Anton Mesmer, 
.who was so strongly impressed by Hell's observations that he 
immediately procured every conceivable description of magnet, with 
which he made many experiments that led to his introduction of 
animal magnetism, or rather mesmerism. 

He is the author of many works, the most important being 
" Element a Algebrae Joannis Crivelii magis illustrata et no vis demon- 
strationibus et problematibus aucta," Vienna, 1745; " Observ. 
Astronomicae," 1768, and " Aurorae Boreales Theoria nova/' 1776. 

REFERENCES. Bcckmann, Bohn, 1846, Vol. I. p. 44; Practical 
Mechanic, Glasgow, 1843, Vol. II. p. 71 ; Van Swinden, " Recueil," etc., 
La Haye, 1784, Vol. II. pp. 303, 304, etc. ; J. Lamont, " Handbuch," etc., 
p. 436; M. V. Burq, " Me"tallo the"rapie," Paris, 1853 ; " Biog. Ge'ne'rale," 
Vol. XXIII. pp. 836-839; Schlichtegroll, " Nckrol.," 1792, Vol. I. 
pp. 282-303; " Journal des Scavans," for July 1771, p. 499; Meusel, 
" Gelehrtes Teutschl"; Jer. de la Lande, " Bibliogr. Astronomique," 
Paris, 1803, pp. 721-722. 

A.D. 1771. Morveau (Baron Louis, Bernard Guyton de), a 
very prominent French chemist and scientist, publishes at Dijon 
his " Reflexions sur la boussole a double aiguille," and, later on, 
communicates to the Annales de Chimie, Vol. LXI. p. 70, and Vol. 
LXIII. p. 113, very valuable papers treating on the influence of 
galvanic electricity upon minerals, which are read before the French 

REFERENCES. Thomson, " Hist, of Chemistry," Vol. II. 1831; the 
translation of Morveau 's letter to Gu6naud de Montbe'liard in Scelta 
d' Opuscoli, Vol. XXXIII. p. o; Berthollet, " Discours," etc., 1816; 
"Biog. Univ.," Tome XVIII. pp. 296-298; "Journal des Savants" 
for Jan. 1860; " Roy. Soc. Cat. of Sc. Papers," Vol. III. pp. 99-102; 
Vol. VI. pp. 679-680; " Biog. Univ. et Portative," etc., 1834, Vol. III. 
p. 701; Annales de Chimie, Vol. LXI. pp. 70-82; Sir Humphry Davy, 
" Bakerian Lectures," London, 1840, p. 51. 

A.D. 1771. In a very interesting article published by the 
Gazette at Salem (Mass.), August 9, 1889, on the occasion of the 


formal opening of the new station of the Electric Lighting Company, 
the connection of that city with the progress of electricity was 
traced in the following manner : 

" In 1771 Col. David Mason, a prominent figure among the patriots 
at Leslie's Retreat, gave a course of lectures on ' Electricity ' at 
his house near North Bridge. The Rev. John Prince, LL.D., 
minister of the First Church from 1779 to 1836, was especially inter- 
ested in electricity, and is said to have made the first electrical 
machine in Salem, if not in the country. Col. Francis Peabody, 
assisted by Jonathan Webb, the apothecary, was much interested 
in the subject, and, in 1829, gave a series of lectures, illustrated with 
a machine made by himself, which had a glass plate wheel imported 
from Germany at a reported cost of $1500. 

" Dr. Charles Grafton Page, another native of Salem, invented 
the first electric motor in which solenoids were used, and as early 
as 1850 constructed a motor which developed over 10 h.p. The 
next year he made a trial trip with his electro-magnetic locomotive 
over the Baltimore and Washington Railroad. Prof. Moses Gerrish 
Farmer lived in Pearl Street between the years 1850 and 1870, and, 
as far back as 1859, illuminated the house with divided electric 
lights probably the first time that any house in the world was lighted 
by electricity. In 1847 Prof. Farmer had constructed and exhibited 
in public an electro-magnetic locomotive drawing a car holding two 
passengers, on a track one foot and a half wide. 

" Many of Prof. Alexander Graham Bell's early experiments 
were conducted in Salem, and the first lecture on the telephone in 
this country, if not in the world, was delivered by him before the 
Essex Institute in Lyceum Hall, February 12, 1877. The late 
Prof. Osbun, teacher of chemistry and physics at the Normal School 
in Salem, was also an electrical expert. He exhibited the first arc 
lights in Salem, and was the inventor of the storage battery system 
from which lights were exhibited." 

The advertisement of March 7, 1765, previously alluded to 
herein at Kinnersley, A.D. 1761, is as follows : 


newly discovered Electrical Fire, to be accompanied with methodical 
LECTURES on the Nature and Properties of that wonderful Element 
will be exhibited by DAVID MASON, at his House opposite Mr. 
Thomas Jackson; Distiller, near Sudbury-Street. To consist of 
two Lectures, at one Pistareen each Lecture. The first Lectures 
to be on Monday and Thursday, and the Second on Tuesday and 
Friday Evenings every week, Weather permitting. 



"That the Electric Fire is a real Element, That our 
Bodies at all Times contain enough of it to set an House 
on Fire, That this Fire will live in Water, A Representation 
of the seven Planets, shewing a probable Cause of their keep- 
ing their due Distances from each other, and the Sun in the 
Centre, The Salute repulsed by the Ladies' Fire, or Fire darting 
from a Lady's Lips, so that she may defy any Person to salute her, 
A Battery of Eleven Guns discharged by the Electric Spark, after 
it has passed through eight Feet of Water, Several Experiments 
shewing that the Electric Fire and Lightning are the same, and that 
Points will draw off the Fire so as to prevent the Stroke, With 
a number of other entertaining Experiments, too many to be inserted 
in an Advertisement. 

" TICKETS to be had either at his House above or at his Shop in 

Another advertisement, which appeared in the Salem Gazette 
of Tuesday, January i, 1771, is thus worded : " To-morrow evening 
(if the Air be dry) will be exhibited A Course of Experiments in 
that instructive and entertaining branch of Natural Philosophy 
called Electricity; to be accompanied with Methodical Lectures 
on the nature and properties of the wonderful element ; by David 
Mason, at his dwelling-house near the North-Bridge. The course 
to consist of two lectures, at a pistareen each lecture/' 

A.D. 1771. Milly (Nicolas Christiern de Thy, Comte de) French 
chemist, constructs compass needles of an alloy of gold and ferru- 
ginous sand. These needles answered well their purpose, as did 
also the brass needle owned by Christian Huyghens (alluded to at 
A.D. 1706), a fact which received the confirmation of Messrs. Du 
Lacque, Le Chevalier d'Angos and M. Arderon, while the latter, 
further ascertained that he could impart a feeble though distinct 
magnetic force to a brass bar either by striking it or by means of 
the " double touch." 

REFERENCES. The Comte de Milly 's " Memoire sur la reduction des 
chaux metalliques par le feu clectrique," read before the Paris Academy 
May 20, 1774, brought about many controversial articles, notably from. 
Sigaud de la Fond, Felice Fontana, Jean M. Cadet, Jean Darcet, G. F. 
Rouelle and Le Dru le Comus; " Biog. Univ.," Vol. XXVIII. p. 312; 
Journal de Physique, Tome XIII. p. 393 ; Philosophical Transactions, 
Vol. L. p. 774; Duhamcl, "Hist. Acad. Reg. Paris," p. 184; Journal 
des S^avans, Paris edition of December 1772, and Amsterdam edition of 
January 1773. 

A.D. 1772. Mesmer (Friedrich Anton), an Austrian physician, 
who, upon taking his diploma at Vienna in 1766, had published a 


thesis " On the Influence of the Planets upon the Human Body/' 
begins his investigations as to the power of the magnet with the 
steel plates of Father Hell. The results proved so favourable that 
Hell was induced to publish an account of them, but he incurred 
the displeasure of his friend by attributing the cures merely to the 
form of the plates. 

Mesmer subsequently arrived at the conclusion that the magnet 
was incapable, by itself, of so acting upon the nerves as to produce 
the results obtained and that another principle was necessarily 
involved ; he did not, however, give an explanation of it, and managed 
to keep his process a secret for quite a while. He had observed 
that nearly all substances can be magnetized by the touch, and in 
due time he announced his abandonment of the use of the magnet 
and of electricity in his production of what became known as 

In 1779 he published his " Memoire sur la decouverte du mag- 
ne*tisme animal," in which he says : " I had maintained that the 
heavenly spheres possessed a direct power on all of the constituent 
principles of animated bodies, particularly on the nervous system, 
by the agency of an all-penetrating fluid. I determined this action 
by the intension and the remission of the properties of matter and 
organized bodies, such as gravity, cohesion, elasticity, irritability 
and electricity. I supported this doctrine by various examples 
of periodical revolutions ; and I named that property of the animal 
matter which renders it susceptible to the action of celestial and 
earthly bodies, animal magnetism. A further "consideration of the 
subject led me to the conviction that there does exist in nature a 
universal principle, which, independently of ourselves, performs 
all that we vaguely attribute to nature or to art/' 

The whole theory and practice of mesmerism was, however, 
openly rejected by one of Mesmer's most capable pupils, Claude 
Louis Berthollet (A.D. 1803), a ver Y distinguished French chemical 
philosopher, founder of the " Socie'te' Chimique d'Arcueil," and 
who, in conjunction with Lavoisier (A.D. 1781), Guyton de Morveau 
(A.D. 1771), and Fourcroy (A.D. 1801), planned the new philosophical 
nomenclature which has since proved of such service to chemical 
science ("La Grande EncycL," Tome VI. p. 449; " Biog. Univer- 
selle," Tome IV. pp. 141-149). 

Mesmer gave all his manuscripts to Dr. Wolf art, of Berlin, who 
published in 1814, " Mesmerism ... as the general curative of 
mankind. 11 And it was one of Mesmer's students, le Marquis de 
Puysgur, who discovered magnetic somnambulism, an entirely new 
phenomenon in animal magnetism. (See the article " Somnam- 
bulism " in the " Encyl. Britannica," as well as the numerous works 


therein quoted, relating to the above-named subjects, notably Mes- 
mer's own " Precis historique des faits relatifs au magnetisme 
animal, jusques en Avril 1781.") 

REFERENCES. " Bulletin de 1'Acad. de Md./' Paris, 1837, Tome I. 
p. 343, etc., and Tome II. p. 370; Blavatsky, " Isis Unveiled," Vol. I- 
p. 172, etc.; " L' Academic des Sciences," par Ernest Maindron, Paris, 
1888, pp. 57-63; Richard Harte, " Hypnotism and the Doctors," Vols. 
I and II, New York, 1903 (from Mesiner to De Puyse"gur, Dupotet, 
Deleuze, Charcot, etc.); Robert Blakey, " History of the Philosophy of 
Mind," London, 1850, Vol. IV. pp. 570-582, 639645; the report of Dr. 
Franklin and other Commissioners . . . against mesmerism, translated 
by Dr. William Bache, London, 1785 ; J. C. Schaffer, " Abhandlung," 
etc., and " Krafte," etc. (1776), " Fcrnere," etc. (1777), also " Journal 
Encyclop^dique '' for March 1777; Van Swinden, " Rccueil," etc., La 
Haye, 1784, Vol. II. pp. 373-446; C. H. Wilkinson, " Elements of Galvan- 
ism," etc., Chapter XVIII; Champignon, "Etudes Physiques," etc., 
Paris, 1843; " Archives du Magn. Animal," published by M. Le Baron 
d'H6nin de Cuvillers, Paris, 1820-1823 ; " Report on Animal Magnetism " 
made by Charles Poyen Saint Sauveur, 1836; Dupotet's " Manuel," etc., 
Paris, 1868; Male's " Franklin in France/' 1888, Part II. chap. v. allud- 
ing to an interesting manuscript of T. Auguste Thouret now in the 
collection of the American Philosophical Society. 

A.D. 1772.- Henley (William T.), F.R.S., invents the quadrant 
electrometer, an apparatus with which the quantity of electricity 
accumulated in a jar or battery can be measured through the amount 
of repulsion produced by the fluid upon a pith ball suspended from 
the centre of a graduated arc. It is generally attached to the 
prime conductor to measure the state of action of the electrical 

He is also the inventor of the universal discharger, for directing 
the charge of jars or batteries (Edw. Whitaker Gray 1748-1807 
" Observations on manner glass is charged and discharged by the 
electric fluid " in Hutton's abridgments, Vol. XVI. p. 407). 

In the Philosophical Transactions for 1774, Henley and Nairne 
give an account of many curious experiments proving the superiority 
of points over balls as conductors. The same is shown by William 
Swift in the Phil. Trans., Vol. LXVIII. p. 155. (For Wm. Swift 
consult, besides, the Phil. Trans., Vol. LXIX. p. 454, and Hutton's 
abridgments, Vol. XIV. pp. 314, 571.) Henley also states that the 
vapour of water is a conductor of electricity ; that when the flame 
of a candle is introduced into the circuit and a Leyden jar is dis- 
charged through it, the flame always inclines toward the negative 
side ; and he proves that electricity cannot effect a passage through 
glass (Phil. Trans., Vol. LXVIII. p. 1049). He likewise makes a 
number of experiments to determine the relative conducting power 
of the different metals according to the quantity of a wire, each of 
a given size, melted by equal electrical shocks passed through them, 
and finds the metals to hold the order following as conductors : 


gold, brass, copper silvered, silver, iron. It was also shown by 
Nairne that copper conducts better than iron, in the Phil. Trans. 
for 1780, Vol. LXX. p. 334. 

REFERENCES. Harris, " Rud. Electricity," 1853, p. 93, and his 
" Factional Electricity/' 1867, p. 23 ; " The Electrical Researches of 
the Hon. Hy. Cavendish," Cambridge, 1879, Nos. 559, 568, 569, 580; 
Thos. Young, " Nat. Phil." passim', Phil. Trans., Vol. LXIV. pp. 133, 
389; Vol. LXVI. p. 513; Vol. LXVII. pp. i, 85; also Hutton's abridg- 
ments, Vol. XIII. pp. 323 (new electrometer), 512, 551, 659; Vol. XIV. 
pp. 90, 97, 130, 473 ; Transactions of the Humane Society, Vol. I. p. 63 ; 
Ronayne and Henley, " Account of Some Observations ..." London, 
1772 (Phil. Trans., p. 137). 

A.D. 1772. Cavendish (Henry), F.R.S., eldest son of Lord 
Charles Cavendish, and a prominent English scientist, sometime 
called " The Newton of Chemistry " (" the most severe and cautious 
of all philosophers " Farrar, 284), commences investigating the 
phenomena of electricity, the results of which study were duly 
communicated to the Philosophical Transactions. His papers 
embrace twenty-seven mathematical propositions upon the action 
of the electric fluid, and contain the first distinct statement of the 
difference between common and animal electricity. 

Cavendish made many very important experiments upon the 
relative conducting power of different substances. He found that a 
solution of one part of salt in one part of water conducts a hundred 
times better, and that a saturated solution of sea-salt conducts 
seven hundred and twenty times better than fresh water, also 
that electricity experiences as much resistance in passing through 
a column of water one inch long as it does in passing through an 
iron wire of the same diameter four hundred million inches long, 
whence he concludes that rain or distilled water conducts four 
hundred million times less than iron wire. 

He decomposed atmospheric air by means of the electric spark, 
and he successfully demonstrated the formation of nitric acid by 
exploding a combination of seven measures of oxygen with three 
of nitrogen. The latter he did on the 6th of December, 1787, with 
the assistance of Mr. George Gilpin, in presence of the English Royal 
Society. (For George Gilpin, consult " Bibl. Britan.," Vol. XXXVI, 
1807, p. 3; Phil. Trans, for 1806.) 

He improved upon Priestley's experiments after studying 
thoroughly the power of electricity as a chemical agent. In one of 
his experiments he fired as many as five hundred thousand measures 
of hydrogen with about two and a half times that quantity of atmo- 
spheric air, and having by this means obtained 135 grains of pure 
water, he was led to the conclusion which Mr. Watt had previously 


maintained, that water is composed of two gases, viz. oxygen and 

He explains why no spark is given by the electrical fishes : the 
latter may contain sufficient electricity to give a shock without being 
able to make it traverse the space of air necessary for the production 
of a spark, as the distance through which the spark flies is inversely 
(or rather in a greater proportion) as the square root of the number 
of jars in operation. 

For an account of his experiments anticipating Faraday's 
discovery of the specific inductive capacity of various substances, 
see Chap. XT. pp. 69-142 of Gordon's " Physical Treatise," etc., 
London, 1883. See, likewise, J. Clerk Maxwell's " Electrical 
Researches," etc., Cambridge, 1879, pp. liii-lvi, as well as refer- 
ences therein made, more particularly at articles Nos. 355-366, 
376 ; also the notes 27, 29 as per Index at pp. 450 and 453 ; Phil. 
Trans., Vol. CLXVII (1877), p. 599; Sparks' edition of Franklin's 
" Works," Vol. V. p. 201. 

REFERENCES. Dr. G. Wilson's " Life and Works of Hon. Henry 
Cavendish," London, 1851; Sturgeon's Annals, Vol. VI. pp. 137, 173, 
etc.; Noad, " Manual," etc., pp. 14, 161 ; Harris, " Electricity," pp. 136, 
140; Harris, " Frictional Electricity," pp. 23 and 45; Whewell, " Hist, 
of the Ind. Sciences," 1859, Vol. II. pp. 203-206, 273-275, 278; C. R. 
Weld, " Hist. Roy. Soc.," for Lord Charles Cavendish, Vol. II. pp. 171, 
176-185, 221 ; T. E. Thorpe, " Essays in Historical Chemistry," London, 
1894, pp. 70, no; Thomas Thomson, " Hist. Roy. Soc.," London, 1812, 
pp. 456, 457, 471 ; Sir William Thomson's " Works," 1872, pp. 34, 235 ; 
Phil. Trans, for 1776, Vol. LXVI. p. 196; Thos, Young, "Lectures," 
1807, Vol. I. pp. 658, 664, 751, and Vol. II. p. 418. 

A.D. 1773. Walsh (John), F.R.S., demonstrates the correctness 
of Dr. Bancroft's opinion that the shock of the torpedo is of an 
electrical nature, resembling the discharge from a Leyden jar. In 
the letter announcing the fact, which he addressed to Franklin, 
then in London, he says : " He, who predicted and showed that 
electricity wings the formidable bolt of the atmosphere, will hear 
with attention that in the deep it speeds a humbler bolt, silent and 
invisible ; he, who analyzed the electric phial, will hear with pleasure 
that its laws prevail in animated phials ; he, who by reason became 
an electrician, will hear with reverence of an instructive electrician 
gifted at its birth with a wonderful apparatus, and with skill to 
use it." 

Mr. Walsh's experiments were made off Leghorn, in company 
with Dr. Drummond, as stated in Phil. Traps., 1775, p. I, and were 
confirmed by Johan Ingen-housz as well as by the Italian naturalist, 
Lazaro Spallanzani (at A.D. 1780). The last named found the torpedo 
shocks strongest when it lay upon glass, and that when the animal 
was dying the shocks were not given at intervals, but resembled a 


continual battery of small shocks : three hundred and sixteen of 
them have been felt in seven minutes. 

REFERENCES. Leithead, "Electricity," p. 135; Gray, "Elements 
of Natural Philosophy," 1850, p. 323; " Electrical Researches of Lord 
Cavendish," 1879, pp. xxxv, xxxvi and 395-437; Fifth Dissertation 
of " Encycl. Britannica," 8th ed. p. 738; Phil. Trans, for 1773, 1774, 1775 
and 1776; also Hutton's abridgments, Vol. XIIT. p. 469; "Chambers' 
Ency.," 1868, Vol. III. p. 821; "People's Cyclopaedia," 1883, Vol. I. 
p. 628; Kaempfer (A.D. 1702); Sc. American Supplement, No. 457, pp. 
73> 73 r I " Lettera dell' Abate Spallanzani al Signore Marchese 
Lucchesini," Feb. 23, 1783, inserted in the Gothaische Gelehrte Zeilungen 
for 1783, p. 409. See also the experiments of Dr. Ingram, of Kaempfer 
and of Borelli, described in Van Swinden's " Rccueil," etc., La Haye, 
1784, Vol. II; Wilkinson's "Galvanism," 1804, Vol. I. pp. 318, 324; 
G. W. Schilling, " Diatribe de morbo," etc., 1770, and Friedrich von 
Halm in the preface to Schilling's " De Lepra," etc., 1778, as well as 
at pp. 436-442, Vol. I and at note, p. 160, Vol. II of Van Swinden's 
" Recueil," already noted; J. B. Leroy and M. Saignette " Sur. 1'elcct. 
de la Torpille," etc. (Jour, de Phys., 1774, Vol. IV and for 1776, Vol. 
VIII) ; " Annales du Musee d'Hist. Nat.," p. 392 ; R. A. F. De Rdaumur, 
"Mem. de 1'acad. des Sc. dc Paris" for 1714; C. Alibert, " Eloges," 
etc., Paris, 1806. 

A.D. 1773. Odier (Louis), a well-known Swiss physician, thus 
addresses a lady upon the subject of an electric telegraph : " I shall 
amuse you, perhaps, in telling you that I have in my head certain 
experiments, by which to enter into conversation with the Emperor 
of Mogol or of China, the English, the French, or any other people 
of Europe, in a way that, without inconveniencing yourself, you may 
intercommunicate all that you wish, at a distance of four or five 
thousand leagues in less than half an hour ! Will that suffice you 
for glory? There is nothing more real. Whatever be the course 
of those experiments, they must necessarily lead to some grand 
discovery; but I have not the courage to undertake them this 
winter. What gave me the idea was a word which I heard spoken 
casually the other day, at Sir John Pringle's table, where I had 
the pleasure of dining with Franklin, Priestley and other great 

REFERENCES. Necrology of Prof. Odier in " Bibl. Britan.," Vol. IV. 
N. S., 1817, pp. 317-328; see also allusion to Odier at Schwenter (A.D. 
1600), and in the report of Bristol meeting of the British Association, 
August 25, 1875; also Chambers' "Papers for the People," 1851, EL 
Com., p. 6; Bertholon, " Elec. du Corps Humain," 1786, Vol. I. p. 357. 

A.D. 1773. Hunter (John), a native of Scotland, " by common 
consent of all his successors, the greatest man that ever practiced 
surgery," gives at p. 481 of the Phil. Trans, for 1773 his observations 
on the anatomical structure of the raia torpedo. 

The electricity of the animal, he found, is generated by organs 
on each side of the cranium and gills, somewhat resembling a galvanic 
pile, and consisting wholly of perpendicular columns reaching from 


the upper to the under surface of the body. Dr. Walsh gave him 
for examination a fish about eight inches long, two inches thick and 
twelve inches broad, and Hunter found in each electrical organ as 
many as 470 columns ; but in a very large fish, four and a half feet 
long and weighing 73 pounds, he counted as many as 1182 in each 

He remarks that there is no part of any animal with which he is 
acquainted, however strong and constant its natural action, which 
has so great a proportion of nerves ; and he concludes that, if it be 
probable these nerves are not necessary for the purposes of sensation 
or action, they are subservient to the formation, collection or 
management of the electric fluid. 

REFERENCES. Phil. Trans, for 1773, p. 461; for 1775, p. 465 (gym- 
notus electricus) ; for 1776, p. 196; the Phil. Trans., Vol. LXIII. p. 481, 
(torpedo) ; Vol.~ LXV. p. 395 (gymnotus) ; and Hutton's abridgments, 
Vol. XIII. pp. 478, 666; also John Davy's account in Phil. Trans, for 
1832, p. 259; " Am. Trans.," Vol. II. p. 166; Nicholson's Journal, Vol. I. 
p. 355; Journal de Physique, Vol. XLIX. p. 69; Becquerel et Brachet, 
Comptes Rendus, III. p. 135 ; Carlo Matteucci, " Recherches," Geneve, 
1837; Delle Chiage, on the organs of the torpedo; Geo. Adams, " Essay 
on Electricity," etc., 1785, p. 315; D. J. N. Lud. Roger, "Specimen 
Physiologicum," etc., Gottingae, 1760 ; Dr. Buniva's experiments recorded 
in " Journal de Litter. Medicale," Tome II. p. 112; Leithead, "Elec- 
tricity," Chap. XII; Sclent. Am. Suppl., No. 457, pp. 7300-7302. See 
also the account of his having been the first to observe the galvanic 
sensation of light in the experiment on the eyes, published in " Opuscoli 
Scelti," Vol. XXII, p. 364. 

A.D. 1774. At p. 16 of the third volume of Dr. Wm. Hooper's 
" Rational Recreations/' etc., there is given a fine illustration of 
the electrical machine made by Dr. Priestley, and mention is made 
of the fact that, since the publication of the latter 's " History and 
Present State of Electricity," he contrived, to be placed on the top 
of his house, a windmill by which the machine could be occasionally 

Much of the remainder of the volume is given to all kinds of 
experiments in the line of electricity and magnetism. 

A.D. 1774. Lesage (Georges Louis, Jr.), a Frenchman living 
at Geneva, Switzerland, makes in that city the first real attempt 
to avail of frictional electricity for the transmission of signals between 
two distant points (see C. M., or Charles Morrison, at A.D. 1753). 
His apparatus consists of twenty-four metallic wires insulated from 
each other and communicating with separate electrometers formed 
of small balls of elder held by threads and each marked with different 
letters of the alphabet. Whenever the electric current was trans- 
mitted, the balls indicated the desired letter. 

Lesage was not, however, satisfied with a telegraph upon so 


small a scale as to be utilized only in one building, and on the 22nd 
of June 1782 lie addressed a letter to M. Pierre PreVost, at Geneva, 
on the subject of "a ready and swift method of correspondence 
between two distant places by means of electricity." This, he says, 
had occurred to him thirty or thirty-five years before, and had been 
" then reduced to a simple system, far more practicable than the 
form with which the new inventor has endowed it." He employed 
a subterranean tube of glazed earthenware, divided at every fathom's 
length by partitions with twenty-four separate openings intended 
to hold apart that number of wires, the extremities of the wires 
being " arranged horizontally, like the keys of a harpsichord, each 
wire having suspended above it a letter of the alphabet, while 
immediately underneath, upon a table, are pieces of gold leaf, or 
other bodies that can be as easily attracted, and are at the same time 
easily visible." Upon touching the end of any wire with an excited 
glass tube, its other extremity would cause the little gold leaf to 
play under a certain letter, which would form part of the intended 

Georges Louis Lesage (sen.) wrote a work on " Meteors," etc., 
published at Geneva in 1730, and alluded to in Poggendorff, Vol. I. 

REFERENCES. Abb6 Moigno, " TraiteV' etc , and cd. Part II. chap. i. 
p. 59; Ed. Ilighton, "The Electric Telegraph." 1852, p. 38; Journal 
des S$avans t September 1782, p. 637; Pierre Prevost, ''Notice," etc., 
1805, pp. 176-177. 

A.D. 1774. Wales (William), English mathematician and the 
astronomer of Captain Cook during the expeditions of 1772, 1773 
and 1774, is the first to make scientific observations relative to the 
local attraction of a ship upon mariners' compasses. While on his 
way from England to the Cape and during his passage through 
the English Channel he found differences of as much as 19 degrees 
to 25 degrees in the azimuth compass. 

REFERENCES. Sturmy, at A.D. 1684; also Wales and Bayly's 
" Observations on Cook's Voyages," p. 49. 

A.D. 1775. Gallitzin (Dmitri Alexewitsch Fiirst, Prince de), 
an able Russian diplomat and scientist, carries on at the Hague, 
between the 4th of June, 1775, and the commencement of the year 
1778, a series of experiments upon atmospherical electricity, the 
results of which he communicates to the St. Petersburg Academy 
of Sciences in a Memoir entitled " Observations sur TElectricite 
naturelle par le moyen d'un cerf- volant." Therein he states that 
the presence of electricity was always noticeable whenever he raised 
his kite, whether in the night or in the daytime, as well as during 


hot, dry, or damp weather, and he ascertained that electricity is 
generally positive during calm weather and more frequently negative 
when the weather is stormy. 

He also observed during an extensive course of experiments 
upon animals that hens' eggs hatch sooner when they are electrified, 
thus confirming the previous observations of Koeslin and Senebier, 
and he gives an account of the effects of battery shocks upon various 
species. He cites the case of a hen which had sustained the shock 
of sixty'-four jars and appeared dead, but which revived, and lived 
thirty-two days ; and he gives the report of the dissection made by 
M. Munichs, as well as the very curious observations upon it noted 
at the time by M. Camper. 

REFERENCE. Bertholon, " Elec. du Corps Humain," 1786, Vol. I. 
pp. 13-14, 66, and Vol. II. p. 48, etc.; " Anc. Mem. de 1'acad. Beige," 
Vol. III. p. 3, showing preference for the pointed form of electrical 
conductors; " Mercure de France," 1774, p. 147; " Biog. Univ.," Tome 
XV. p. 425; "Mem. de 1'Acad. . . . de Bruxelles," Vol. III. p. 14; 
Journal de Physique, Vols. XXI and XXII for 1782 and 1783 ; " Opuscoli 
Scelti," Vol. II. p. 305. 

A.D. 1775. Lorimer (Dr. John), " a gentleman of great know- 
ledge on magnetics " (1732-1795), describes his combined dipping 
and variation needle for determining the dip at sea, which he calls 
universal magnetic needle or observation compass in a letter to Sir 
John Pringle, Bart., copied in Philosophical Transactions, Vol. LXV. 
p. 79. This apparatus is also to be found described in Lorimer's 
" Essay on Magnetism," etc., 1795, as well as at p. 168 of Cavallo's 
" Treatise on Magnetism " published in 1787; and, at p. 333 of the 
latter work, the Doctor endeavours to explain the causes of the 
variation of the magnetic needle. 

REFERENCES. For Lorimer, consult Hutton's abridgments, Vol. 
XIII. p. 593, and, for dipping needles, refer to the same volume of 
Hutton, p. 613, wherein especial mention is made of those of Thomas 
Hutchins. The dipping needle of Robert Were Fox is described in the 
" Annals of Electricity," as well as at p. 411, Vol. II. of " Abstract of 
Papers of Roy. Soc.," and the two dipping needles of Edward Nairne 
are described in Phil. Trans, for 1772, p. 496. Capt. Henry Foster 
made a report on changes of magnetic intensity ... in dipping and 
horizontal needles, to be found in Phil. Trans, for 1828, p. 303 (Abstracts 
Sc. Papers . . . Roy. Soc.," Vol. II. pp. 290-296, 344). 

A.D. 1775. Cavallo (Tiberius), a distinguished Italian natural 
philosopher, publishes in London " Extraordinary Electricity of 
the Atmosphere at Islington/' which volume was reprinted by 
Sturgeon, and contains his many experiments and important 
observations upon the line indicated by Franklin. This work was 
followed in 1777, 1782, 1787, 1795, 1802 by his " Complete Treatise 
on Electricity/' etc.; by his " Essay on the Theory and Practice 


of Medical Electricity" (London, 1780, 1781; Leipzig, 1782, 1785; 
Naples, 1784) ; and during 1787 was also published in London the 
first edition of his " Treatise on Magnetism/' a supplement to which 
appeared eight years later. 

He had made many very remarkable observations during the 
year 1787 on the phenomena of electricity in glass tubes containing 
mercury, and he had particularly experimented with various sub- 
stances floating upon mercury in order to test their magnetism. 

Before the year 1795 he contrived what he called a multiplier 
of electricity, a good illustration of which is to be found, more par- 
ticularly, opposite p. 270, Vol. II. of his " Elements/' etc., published 
at Philadelphia in 1825. ^ consisted of two brass plates insulated 
upon glass pillars, and of a third plate which could be insulated or 
uninsulated at will, and which, turning on a pivot, or rather a mov- 
able arm, could be made to successively convey electricity from one 
plate to the other until the desired quantity was accumulated. (For 
the multiplier, see Jean Darnel Colladon in " Bibl. Britan./' Vol. 
XXIX, N.S. for 1825, p. 316.) 

Cavallo also invented a small electroscope and a condenser of 
electricity. The latter consisted of an insulated tin plate between 
the sides of a wooden frame lined with gilt paper, one edge of the 
plate being connected with the body containing the electricity, and 
the condensation making itself observable at the opposite edge by 
the electroscope. 

In the fourth edition of his " Treatise on Electricity " (1795), 
which, like the previous editions, was freely translated into other 
languages, will be found at pp. 285-296 of the third volume mention 
of the possibility of transmitting intelligence by combinations of 
sparks and pauses. For his experiments he made use of brass wires 
250 English feet in length, and his electric alarm was based upon 
either the explosion of a mixture of hydrogen and of oxygen, or 
of gunpowder, phosphorus, phosphuretted hydrogen, etc., fired by 
the Leyden phial (vide Bozolus at A.D. 1767). It is in Vol. I. 
p. 358 of the aforenamed fourth edition that Cavallo explains the 
mode of action of the charged Leyden jar. His concluding words 
deserve reproduction : " Which shows that one side of a charged 
electric may contain a greater quantity of electricity than that 
which is sufficient to balance the contrary electricity of the opposite 
side. This redundant electricity should be carefully considered in 
performing experiments of a delicate nature . ' ' The same is expressed 
in other words in the 1825 American edition of his " Natural Philo- 
sophy/' Chap. IV. Therein he asserts that glass is impervious 
to the electric fluid, saying ; " If the additional electric fluid pene- 
trates a certain way into the substance of the glass, it follows that 


a plate may be given so thin as to be permeable to the electric fluid, 
and, of course, incapable of a charge ; yet glass balls blown exceed- 
ingly thin, viz. about the six-hundredth part of an inch thick, 
when coated, etc., were found capable of holding a charge." (Con- 
sult Cavendish's experiments which produced this remarkable 
discovery, in Phil. Trans., Vols. LXXV and LXXVIII.) 

An electrical machine used by Cavallo in 1777 had a glass cylinder 
rotated by means of a cord passing around the neck and the wheel, 
also a cushion (amalgamated with two parts of mercury, one of 
tinfoil, some powdered chalk and grease) holding a silk flap and 
freely moving along a groove, and provided with a prime conductor 
resting on glass legs and with collecting points. 

REFERENCES. Sturgeon, " Lectures," London, 1842, p. 12 ; Young's 
" Lectures," London, 1807, Vol. I. pp. 682, 686, 694, 714; Nicholson's 
Journal, 1797, Vol. I. p. 394; Du Moncel, " Expose/' Vol. Ill; Aikin's 
"General Biography," Vol. X; Phil. Transactions, 1776, Vol. LXV1. 
p. 407; 1777, Vol. LXVII. pp. 48, 388; 1780, Vol. LXX. p. 15; 1786, 
p. 62 ; 1787, p. 6; 1788, pp. i and 255, and 1793, p. 10 (Volta's letters) ; 

'hap. III. s. i. for Cavallo's " Observations on the Magnetism 
Metals," etc. 

A.D. 1775. Bolten (Joach. Fred.), a German physician, is 
the author of " Nachricht von einem mit dem Kunstlichen magneten 
gemachten Versuchein einer Nerven-Krankheit " (Hamburg, 1775), 
the title of which is here given in full, as the work is not usually 
found recorded in publications and is considered to be of excessive 

Contrary to the accepted belief of many at the time, Bolten 
asserts that the application of magnetic plates for the cure of nervous 
and other affections is not only useless, but has, in many instances, 
been shown to greatly increase pain. This is proven by M. Fonseca 
in his Journal, which forms part of the above-named work; by 
Andry and Thouret (" Obs. et Rech sur. . . . TAimant. ..." No. 
8, pp. 599, 661), and by J. David Reuss (" Repertorium," Vol. XII. 
p. 18), as well as by observations recorded in another very scarce 
work, translated into Dutch during 1775 by the celebrated physicist, 
J. R. Deimann, under the title of " Geneeskundige Proefneeming 
met den door Koast gemaakten Magneet, door den Heere T. C. 

REFERENCES. Magnetical cures by different processes are treated of 
more particularly by Goclenius R., Jr., " Tract, de Mag. Curatione ..." 
Marp., 1609; J. Robertus, " Curationis Magneticae . . ." Luxemb., 
1621, Colonise, 1622; Charlton, " A Ternary of Paradoxes . . ."London, 
1650; G. Mascuelli, " De Medicina Magnetica," Franckfort, 1613, trans- 
lated by W. Maxwell (Maxvellus), 1679-1687; Tentzelius, " Medicina 
Diastatica . . ." 1653; A. Van Leuwenhoeck (Phil. Trans., Vol. XIX 


for 1695-1697, as shown below) ; J. N. Tetens, " Schreiben . . . Magnet- 
curen," Biitzow and Wismar, 1775; Jacques de Harsu, " Receuil des 
Effets . . ." Geneva, 1783; W. Pigram, " Successful Application . . .*' 
(Phil. Mag., Vol. XXXII. p. 154); Kloerich, F. W., " Versuche . . ." 
(" Getting. Anzeigen," 1765), " Von dem Medicin . . ." Gdttingen, 
1766; M. Mouzin, " De 1'emploi . . . Maladies," Paris, 1843. See 
likewise A.D. 450, and Hell at A.D. 1770. 

For Anthony Van Leuwenhoeck, consult the Phil. Trans, for 1695-1697, 
Vol. XIX. No. 227, p. 512; Vol. XXXII. p. 72; also the abridgments 
of Reid and Gray, Vol. VI. p. 170, and of Eames and Martyn, Vol. VI. 
part. ii. pp. 277-278. 

A.D. 1775. Volta (Alessandro), an Italian natural philosopher 
and Professor at the University of Pavia, who had already, in 1769, 
addressed to Beccaria a Latin dissertation, " De Vi Attractiva ignis 
electrici," etc., makes known his invention of the clectrophorus, a 
sort of perpetual reservoir of electricity. This consists of two 
circular metallic plates having between them a round disc of resin, 
which is excited by being struck a number of times with either a 
silk kerchief or pieces of dry warm fur or flannel. During 1782 he 
discovered what he called an electrical condenser, wherein the disc 
of resin is replaced by a plate of marble or of varnished wood. With 
this he is reported (Philosophical Transactions, Vol. LXXII) to 
have ascertained the existence of negative electricity in the vapour of 
water, in the smoke of burning coals, and in the gas produced by a 
solution of iron in weak sulphuric acid. An account of the above 
named and of other discoveries, as well as of various experiments, 
appears in letters addressed by him to Prof. Don Bassiano Carminati, 
of the Pavia Medical University, April 3, 1792, and to Tiberius 
Cavallo, Sept. 13, and Oct. 25, 1792, as shown in the Philosophical 
Transactions of the Royal Society, which institution gave him its 
gold Copley medal. 

Volta 's crowning effort lies in the discovery of the development 
of electricity in metallic bodies and in the production of the justly 
famous pile which bears his name. The latter consisted of an equal 
number of zinc and copper discs separated by circular plates of 
cloth, paper or pasteboard soaked in salt-water or dilute acid, all 
being suitably connected to develop a large quantity of the electric 
fluid. Thus, says Dr. Dickerson in his address at Princeton College, 
Volta gave to the world that new manifestation of electricity called 
Galvanism. In that form this subtle agent is far more manageable 
than in the form of static electricity; and by the use of galvanic 
batteries a current of low tension, but of enormously greater power, 
can be maintained with little difficulty; whereas static electricity 
is like lightning, and readily leaps and escapes on the surfaces on 
which it is confined. 

" It was Volta who removed our doubtful knowledge. Such 


knowledge is the early morning light of every advancing science, 
and is essential to its development ; but the man who is engaged in 
dispelling that which is deceptive in it, and revealing more clearly 
that which is true, is as useful in his place and as necessary to the 
general progress of science as he who first broke through the intel- 
lectual darkness and opened a path into knowledge before unknown " 
(Faraday's " Researches "). 

The last -mentioned discovery, though made in 1796, was first 
announced only on the 20th of March, 1800, in a letter written from 
Como to Sir Joseph Banks, by whom it was communicated to the 
Royal Society. It was publicly read June 26, 1800 (Phil. Trans. 
for 1800, Part II. p. 408). 

At pp. 428-429 of " La Revue Scientifique," Paris, April 8, 1905, 
will be found a review of J. Bosscha's work entitled " La corre- 
spondance de A. Volta et de M. Van Marum," published at Leyden. 
Bosscha calls especial attention to letters numbered XIII and XIV, 
dated respectively August 30 and October n, 1792, wherein Volta 
describes his construction of the apparatus which, as already stated, 
was not made known until March 20, 1800. M. Bosscha's work is 
also referred to in the " Journal des Savants " for August 1905. 

Volta, at about the same period, constructed an electrical battery, 
which has been named La Couronne de T asses (the crown of cups), 
and which consisted of a number of cups arranged in a circle, each 
cup containing a saline liquid and supporting against its edges a 
strip of zinc and one of silver. As the upper part of each zinc strip 
was connected by a wire with a strip of silver in the adjoining 
cup, the silver strip of the first cup and the zinc strip of the last cup 
formed the poles of the battery. It is said that twenty such com- 
binations decomposed water, and that thirty gave a distinct shock. 

On the 1 6th, i8th and 20th of November 1800 (Brumaire an. 
IX), Volta, who had obtained permission of the Italian Government 
to go to Paris with his colleague Prof. Brugnatelli, delivered lectures 
and experimented before the French National Institute (Sue, 
" Histoire du Galvanisme," Vol. II. p. 267). As a member of the 
latter body, Bonaparte, the First Consul, who had attended the 
second lecture and witnessed the electro-chemical decomposition 
of water, proposed that a gold medal be stuck to commemorate 
Volt a 's discovery, and that a commission be formed to repeat all 
of Volta 's experiments upon a large scale. The commission embraced 
such prominent men as Laplace, Coulomb f Halle', Monge, Fourcroy, 
Vauquelin, Pelletan, Charles, Brisson, Sabathler, Guyton De Morveau 
and Biot. Biot, the chairman of the commission, made a report 
December n, 1800, which appears in Vol. V of the Memoires de 
I'lnstitut National de France, a wejl as in the Annales $e Chimie^ 


Vol. XLI. p. 3. In addition to the gold medal, Volta received from 
Bonaparte the sum of six thousand francs and the cross of the Legion 
of Honour. 

To Volta has been attributed the fact of having, as early as 
1777, entertained the idea of an electric telegraph, although nothing 
more appears to be on record in relation to the matter. Fahie 
quotes a letter of Sir Francis Ronalds, alluding to an autograph 
manuscript, dated Como, April 15, 1777, and gives its translation 
by Cesar Cantu, wherein Volta states that he does not doubt the 
possibility of exploding his electrical pistol at Milan, through wires 
supported by posts, whenever he discharges a powerful Leyden jar 
at Como. 

REFERENCES, Arago, " Eloge Historique de Volta " and " Notices 
Biographiqucs," Tome I. p. 234 (" Raccolta Pratica di Scienze," etc. 
for March and April 1835); London Times of January 26, 1860; the 
eulogies pronounced by Giorn. Fogliani at Como and by G. Zuccala 
at Bergamo, the year of Volta's death, 1827 ; P. Sue, " Histoire du Galvan- 
isme," Tome II. p. 267; Journal de Leipzig, Tome XXXIV; Scelta d' Opu- 
scoli, Vols. VIII. p. 127; IX. p. 91 ; X. p. 87; XII. p. 94; XIV. p. 84; 
XXVIII. p. 43; XXXIV. p. 65; Opuscoli Scelti, Vols. I. pp. 273, 289; 
VII. pp. 128, 145; XV. pp. 213, 425; XXI. p. 373; " Mem. deli' I. R. 
Istit. Reg. L. V.," Vol. I. p. 24; "Mem. dell' Istit. Nazion. Ital.," 
Vol. I. p. 125 ; " Memor. Soc. Ital.," Vols. II., pp. 662, 900; V. p. 551 ; 
" Bibl. Fisica d'Europa " for 1788 ; " Giornale Fis.-Med.," Vols. I. p. 66 ; 
II. pp. 122, 146, 241, 287; III. p. 35; IV. p. 192; V. p. 63; " Giornale 
dell' Ital. Lettera," etc., Vol. VIII. p. 249 ; L. V. Brugnatelli, " Annali di 
Chimica," etc., Vols. II. p. 161 ; III. p. 36 ; V. p. 132 ; XI. p. 84 ; XIII. 
p. 226; XIV. pp. 3, 40; XVI. pp. 3, 27, 42; XVIII. pp. 3, 7; XIX. p. 
38; XXI. pp. 79, 100, 163; XXII. pp. 223-249 (Aless. Volta and Pietro 
Configliachi) ; Aless. Volta and Angelo Bellani, " Sulla formazione," etc., 
Milano, 1824; F. A, C. Gren, Neues Journal der Physik, Vols. Ill and 
IV for 1796 and 1797; Rozier, Observ., Vols. VII, XXII and XXIII for 
1776, 1873; J. B. Van Mons, Journal de Chimie, No. 2, pp. 129, 167; 
Seclillot, " Receuil Per. de la Soc. de Me"d. de Paris/' IX. pp. 97, 231 ; 
Journal de Phys., Vols. XXIII. p. 98; XLVIII. p. 336; LI. p. 334; 
LXIX. p. 343; Annales de Chimie, Vols. XXX. p, 276; XLIV. p. 396; 
Nicholson's Journal, Vol. XV. p. 3; Phil. Tr. for 1778, 1782 ancf 1793; 
" Soc. Philom.," An. IX. p. 48, An. X. p. 74; " Bibl. Brit.," Vol. XIX. 
p. 274; Le Correspondant for August, 1867, p. 1059, and Les Mondes, 

Achille Cazin, " Traite" the'orique et pratique des piles e*lectriques/ 
Paris, 1881 ; " Me*moiresde Tlnstitut " (Hist.) An. XII. p. 195; Andrew 
Crosse, " Experiments in Voltaic Electricity," London, 1815 (Phil. Mag., 
Vol. XLVI. p. 421, and Gilbert's " Annalen," Bd. s. 60) ; " Lettere sulla 
Meteorol.," 1783 ; Theod. A. Von Heller, in Gilb. " Annal.," Vols. IV and 
VI, 1800 ; and Gren's Neues Journ., 1795, 1797 ; " L'Arc Voltaique," by M. 
Paul Janet, in " Revue Gene* rale dcs Sciences," May 15, 1902, pp. 416- 
422; "L* Academic des Sciences," par Ernest Maindron, Paris, 1888, 
pp. 187-190 (re prize founded by Napoleon) ; Vol. XXI. p. 289 (electro- 
phorus) ; Vol. XXVIII. p. 182 (theory of Pierre Hyacinthe Azais), and 
j>. 297 (Paul Erman on " Voltaic Phenomena") ; Thomson, " Hist, of Chem- 
istry," Vol. II. pp. 251-252; " Diet, de Gehler/' Vols. III. p. 665; VI. 
pp. 475, 484; Thomas Thomson, "Hist, of the Royal Soc.," London, 


1812, p. 451; Young's " Lectures," Vol. I. pp. 674, 677, 678, 683; see 
likewise the " Theory of the Action of the Galvanic Pile," as given by 
Dr. Wm. Henry at s. 5 Vol. I. of his " Elements of Experimental 
Chemistry," London, 1823; also Nicholson's Journal for Henry's essay 
in Vol. XXXV. p. 259; M. De Luc's papers in Vol. XXXII. p. 271, and 
Vol. XXXVI. p. 97 ; Mr. Singer on the " Electric Column " in Vol. XXXVI. 
p. 373; Dr. Bostock's essay in Thomson's "Annals/ 1 Vol. III. p. 32; Sir 
H. Davy's chapter on " Electrical Attraction and Repulsion," in his " Ele- 
ments of Chem. Philos.," p. 125 ; the first volume of Gay-Lussac and 
Thenard's " Recherches " ; Johann Mayer, " Abhandlungen . . . Galvani, 
Valli, Carminati u. Volta," etc., Prague, 1793 ; Lehrbuch der Meteor., von 
L. F. Kaemtz, Halle, 1832, Vol. II. pp. 398, 400, 418; M. DetienneetM. 
Rouland in Jour, de Phys., Vol. VII. for 1776; J. N. Halle, " Exposition 
Abre"gee," etc. (" Bull, des Sc. de la Soc. Philom.," An. X. No. 58) ; C. B. 
De*sormes' very extended observations recorded in the An. de Ch., Vol. 
XXXVII. p. 284; Volta's letter to Prof. F. A. C. Gren in 1794, and 
Wilkinson, " El. of Galv.," Vol. II. pp. 314-325 ; J. F. Ackerman (" Salz. 
Mediechirurg," 1792, p. 287) ; Cadet (An. de Ch., Vol. XXXVII. p. 68) ; 
letter written by Volta to M. Dolomieu (" Bull, de la Socie'te' Philom.," 
No. 55, p. 48); Friedlander's "Experiments" (Jour, de Phys., Pluvoise, 
An. IX. p. 101) ; Paul Erman (Jour, de Phys., Thermidor, An. IX. p. 121) ; 
Gilbert's "Annalen," VIII, X, XI, XIV); Jour, de Phys., Tome L1II 
P- 39 Jour, de Medecine, Nivose, An. IX. p. 351 ; P. C. Abilgaard, " Ten- 
tamina Electrica "; C. H. Wilkinson, " Elements of Galvanism," etc., 
London, 1804, 2 vols. passim ; A. W. Von Hauch's Memoir read before 
the Copenhagen Acad. of Sc. (Sue, " Hist, du Galv.," 1802, Vol. II. 
p. 255) ; Alexander Nicolaus Schercr's Journal, 3ist book; " Abstracts of 
Papers of Roy. Soc.," Vol. I. p. 27 ; also Hutton's abridgments of the Phil. 
Trans. Vol. XV. p. 263; Vol. XVII. p. 285; Vol. XVIII. pp. 744, 798; 
Phil. Magazine, Vol. IV. pp. 59, 163, 306; " Bibliothdque Britanniquc," 
Geneve, 1796, Vol. XV. an. viii. p. 3; Vol. XIX for 1802, pp. 270, 274, 
3391 Vol. XVI, N.S. for 1821, pp. 270-309; account of the immense 
electrophorus constructed for the Empress of Russia, in Vol. L of " Acta 
Petropolitana " for 1777, pp. 154, etc. In the Philosophical Transactions 
for 1778, pp. 1027, 1049, will be found Ingen-housz's paper relating to the 
then recent invention of Volta's electrophorus and to Mr. Henley's experi- 
ments. It is said that at about this time (i 778), John Jacob Mumenthaler, 
Swiss mechanic, constructed very effective electrophori and electric 
machines out of a very peculiar kind of paper. M. F. Vilette also made 
a paper electrophorus which is alluded to by J. A. Nollet (" Experiments, 
Letters," Vol. III. pp. 209, etc.). Consult, besides, Carlo Barletti, 
* Lettera al Volta . . ." Milano, 1776; W. L. Krafft, " Tentatem 
theoricC . . ." Petropol, 1778; J. C. Schaffer, " Abbild. Beschr. d. elek. 
. . ." Regensberg, 1778; Georg Pickel, " Experimenta physico-medica 
. . ." Viceburgi, 1778-1788; J. A. Klindworth, " Kurze Beschr. . . ." 
Gotha, 1781-1785; (Lichtenbcrg's " Magazin," L 35-45;) wliile for 
Klindworth, M. Obert and M. Minkelcr, see the " Goth. Mag.," L ii. 
p. 35 ; V. iii. pp. 96, no; E. G. Robertson, " Sur 1'electrophore resineux 
et papirace*," Paris, 1790; (Journal de Physique, Vol. XXXVII;) M. 
Robert on the electrophorus (Rozier, XXXVII. p. 183) ; S. Woods, " Essay 
on the phenomena . . ." London, 1805; (Phil. Mag., Vol. XXL p. 289;) 
M. Eynard's " M6m. sur 1'electrophore," Lyon, 1804; John Phillips, 
" On a modification of the electrophorus," London, 1833 (Phil. Mag., 
s. 3, Vol. II) ; G. Zamboni, " Sulla teoria . . ." Verona, 1844 
(" Mem. Soc. Ital.," Vol. XXIII) ; F. A. Petrina, " Neue theorie d. elect. 
. . ." Prag., 1846. 

A.D. 1776. Borda (Jean Charles), French mathematician and 
r, improves upon the work of Mallet (at A.D. 1769), and 


is the first to establish accurately the knowledge of the third and 
most important element of terrestrial magnetism, viz. its intensity. 

To him is exclusively due the correct determination of the differ- 
ence of the intensity at different points of the earth's surface by 
measuring the vibrations of a vertical needle in the magnetic meridian. 
This he determined during his expedition to the Canary Islands, and 
his observations were first confirmed through additional experiments 
which the companion of the unfortunate La Perouse, Paul de 
Lammanon, made during the years 1785-1787, and which were by 
him communicated from Macao to the Secretary of the French 

REFERENCES. Borda's biography in the " Eng. CydL," and in the 
eighth " Britannica " ; Walker, "Magnetism/' p. 182; Humboldt 
on magnetic poles and magnetic intensity, embracing the observations 
of Admiral de Rossel, and " Cosmos," Vol. V 1859, pp. 58, 61-64, 87- 
100; also Vol. I. pp. 185-187, notes, for the history of the discovery 
of the law that the intensity of the force increases with the latitude ; 
Norman (A.D. 1576). 

A.D. 1777. Lichtenberg (Gcorg Christoph), Professor of 
Experimental Philosophy at the University of Gottingen, reveals 
the condition of electrified surfaces by dusting them with powder. 

The figures, which bear his name, are produced by tracing any 
desired lines upon a cake of resin with the knob of a Leyden jar 
and by dusting upon the cake a well-triturated mixture of sulphur 
and of red lead. These substances having been brought by friction 
into opposite electrical conditions, the sulphur collects upon the 
positive and the lead upon the negative portions of the cake : 
positive electricity producing an appearance resembling feathers, 
and negative electricity an arrangement more like stars. 

REFERENCES. Harris, " Frict. Elect.," p. 89; eighth "Britannica," 
Vol. VIII. p. 606; E. Reitlinger, " Sibven Abh. . . ." (Wien Acad.) ; 
illustrations in Sc. Am. SuppL, No. 207, p. 3297; Noad, "Manual/' 
p. 132 ; Erxleben's " Physikalische Bibliotek," s. 514 ; L. F. F. Crell, Chem- 
ische Annalen for 1786; " Gottingisches Magazin," J i., S ii., pp. 216-220 ; 
Lichtenberg's " Math. u. Phys. Schriften," etc., Vol. I. p. 478. See also 
Dr. Young's " Lectures on Nat. Phil.," London, 1807, Vol. II. pp. 119, 
419 for additional references, and p. 426 for Lichtenberg's " Table of 

A.D. 1777. Pringle (Sir John), a man of great scientific attain- 
ments who was physician to the Duke of Cumberland as well as to 
the Queen's household, became a baronet in 1766, and afterward 
received many distinguished honours from foreign learned bodies 
resigns the Presidency of the English. Royal Society, which he had 
held since the year 1772. In this, as will be seen at a later date, he 
was succeeded by Sir Joseph Banks (at A.D. 1820), who continued 
in the office a period of over forty-two years, The cause which, 


led to his resignation is best given in the following extract from his 
biography in the English Cyclopedia : 

" During the year 1777 a dispute arose among the members of 
the Royal Society relative to the form which should be given to 
electrical conductors so as to render them most efficacious in pro- 
tecting buildings from the destructive effects of lightning. Franklin 
had previously recommended the use of points, and the propriety 
of this recommendation had been acknowledged and sanctioned 
by the Society at large. But, after the breaking out of the American 
Revolution, Franklin was no longer regarded by many of the mem- 
bers in any other light than an enemy of England, and, as such, 
it appears to have been repugnant to their feelings to act otherwise 
than in disparagement of his scientific discoveries. Among this 
number was their patron George III, who, according to a story cur- 
rent at the time, and of the substantial truth of which there is no 
doubt, on its being proposed to substitute knobs instead of points, 
requested that Sir John Pringle would likewise advocate their 
introduction. The latter hinted that the laws and operations of 
nature could not be reversed at royal pleasure ; whereupon it was 
intimated to him that a President of the Royal Society entertaining 
such an opinion ought to resign, and he resigned accordingly." 

In Benjamin Franklin's letter to Dr. Ingen-housz, dated Passy, 
Oct. 14, 1777, occurs the following : " The King's changing his 
pointed conductors for blunt ones is therefore a matter of small 
importance to me. If I had a wish about it, it would be that he 
had rejected them altogether as ineffectual." It was shortly after 
the occurrence above alluded to that the following epigram was 
written by a friend of Dr. Franklin : 

" While you Great George, for knowledge hunt, 
And sharp conductors change for blunt. 

The nation's out of joint : 
Franklin a wiser course pursues, 
And all your thunder useless views, 

By keeping to the point." 

Thomson informs us (" Hist. Roy. Soc." pp. 446-447) that the 
Board of Ordnance having consulted the Royal Society about the 
best mode of securing the powder magazine, at Purfleet, from the 
effects of lightning, the Society appointed Mr. Cavendish, Dr. 
Watson, Dr. Franklin, Mr. Robertson and Mr. Wilson a committee 
to examine the building and report upon it. These gentlemen went 
accordingly, and the first four recommended the erecting of pointed 
conductors in particular parts of the building, as a means which 
they thought would afford complete security. Mr. Wilson dissented 
from the other gentlemen, being of the opinion that the conductors 
ought not to be pointed but blunt, because pointed conductors solicit 


and draw down the lightning which might otherwise pass by. He 
published a long paper on the subject, assigning a great variety of 
reasons for his preference (Philosophical Transactions, Vol. LXIII. 
p. 49). It was this dissent of Mr. Wilson which produced between 
the electricians of the Royal Society a controversy respecting 
the comparative merits of pointed and blunt conductors, which 
continued a number of years, and a variety of papers in support 
of which made their appearance in the Philosophical Transactions. 
The controversy, in fact, engaged almost the exclusive attention 
of the writers on electricity for several successive volumes of that 

REFERENCES. William Henley, " Experiments . . . pointed and 
blunted rods . . ." in Phil. Trans, for 1774, p. 133; P. D. Vicgeron, 
" Memoirc sur la force des pointcs . . ." ; Edward Nairne, "Experi- 
ments . . . advantage of elevated pointed conductors," in Phil. Trans. 
for 1778, p. 823; Lord Mahon, "Principles . . . superior advantages 
of high and pointed conductors," London, 1779; Hale's " Franklin in 
France," 1880, Part I. p. 91, and Part II. pp. 254-256, 279, for some 
of his other correspondence with Dr. Ingen-housz; likewise Part JL, 
pp. ix, 273, 441-451, regarding the first publication of copies of letters 
written by Franklin to Sir Joseph Banks, which " for some curious reason," 
Mr. Hale remarks, were not publicly read and were never included in the 
Philosophical Transactions, as Franklin intended they should be. Consult 
also Thomas Hopkinson on " The Effects of Points," etc., in Franklin's 
"New Experiments," etc., London, 1754; Tilloch's Philosophical 
Magazine for 1820; Hutton's abridgments, Vol.'XTJI. p. 382; "Memoir 
of Sir J. Pringle " in Weld's " Hist, of Roy. Soc.," Vol. II. pp. 58-67, 102 ; 
Jared Sparks' edition of Franklin's " Works," and Sir John Pringlc's dis- 
course delivered at the Anniversary Meeting of the Royal Society, Nov. 
30, 1774, a translation of the last named appearing at p. 15, Vol. XV of 
the " Scelta d' Opuscoli." J. Clerk Maxwell, " ElectricarResearches of 
the Hon. Henry Cavendish/' 1879, pp. 52-54. 

A.D. 1778. Martin (Benjamin), English artist and mathe- 
matician, who had already written an " Essay on Electricity " 
and a prominent supplement thereto (1746-1748), publishes an 
enlarged edition in three volumes of his " Philosophia Britannica," 
originally produced in 1759. At Vol. I. p. 47 of the last-named work, 
he states that his experiments indicate a magnetic force inversely 
as the square roots of the cubes of the distances. Noad, treating 
of the laws of magnetic force, says (" Electricity/' p. 579) that 
Martin and Tobias Mayer both came to the conclusion that the 
true law of the magnetic force is identical with that of gravitation, 
and that, in the previous experiments of Hauksbee and others, 
proper allowance had not been made for the disturbing changes 
in the magnetic forces so inseparable from the nature of the 

His first Lecture explains all the phenomena of electricity and 
magnetism, the appendix thereto detailing numerous experiments 
of Mr. John Canton, and giving many additional facts concerning 


the manufacture of artificial magnets. From his preface the follow- 
ing extracts will, doubtless, prove interesting : " We are arrived 
at great dexterity since Sir Isaac Newton's time ; for we can now 
almost prove the existence of this aether by the phenomena of elec- 
tricity; and then we find it very easy to prove that electricity is 
nothing but this very aether condensed and made to shine. But I 
believe, when we inquire into the nature and properties of this 
aether and electricity, we shall find them so very different and dissimi- 
lar, that we cannot easily conceive how they should thus mutually 
prove each other. ... I see no cause to believe that the matter of 
electricity is anything like the idea we ought to have of the spiritus 
suUilissimus of Sir Isaac. . . . The smell also of electrical fire is so 
very much like that of phosphorus, that we may be easily induced to 
believe a great part of the composition of both is the same." 

REFERENCES. " Encycl. Britan.," 1857, Vol. XIV. p. 320; Antoinc 
Rivoire (Riviere), " Traite" sur les aimants ..." Paris, 1752; Nicolaus 
von Fuss, "Observations . . . aimants ..." Petersburg, 1778; Le 
Noble, " Aimants artinciels . . ." Paris, 1772, and " Rapport . . . 
aimants," 1783 (M6m. de Paris); Wens, " Act. Hill," Vol. II. p. 264; 
C. G. Sjoesten (Gilbert, Annalen der Physlk, Vol. XVII. p. 325) ; Rozier, 
IX. p. 454. 

A.D. 1778. Toaldo (Giuseppe) Abbe, celebrated Italian physi- 
cist, who had in 1762 been made Professor at the Padua University 
and was the first one to introduce the lightning rod in the Venetian 
States, makes known the merits of the last-named invention through 
his " Dei conduttori per preservare gli edifizj," etc., which work 
embraces most of his previous treatises on -metallic conductors as 
well as the translation of H. B. de Saussure's " Exposition abrege," 
etc., Geneva, 1771, and of M. Barbier de Tinan's " Considerations 
sur les conducteurs en general." 

The above was followed by many highly interesting memoirs 
containing valuable meteorological observations, notably those in 
continuation of the work of J. Poleni, made close up to the time of 
Toaldo's sudden death at Padua, Dec. u, 1798. His complete 
works, covering the period 1773-1798, were published in Venice 
through M. Tiato, with the assistance of Vincenzo Chiminello, during 
the year 1802. 

REFERENCES. In addition to the last-named publication (entitled 
" Completa Raccolta d* Opuscoli," etc.), " Mem. della Soc. Ital.," Vol. 
VIII. pt. i. p. 29 (" Elogio ... da A. Fabbroni," 1799) ; note at 
Beccaria, p. 42 of Ronalds' "Catalogue "; Larousse, " Diet. Universel," 
Vol. XV. p. 251 ; " Biographic G6n6rale," Vol. XLV. p. 450 ; " Biografia 
degli Italiani Illustri," etc., by E. A. Tipaldo, Vol. VIII ; ft Padua Accad. 
Saggi," Vol. III. p. cv; " Opusc. Scelti," Vol. VI. p. 265 ; Vol. VII. p. 35 ; 
" Nuovo Giornale Enciclopedico di Vicenza " for 1784; Antonio Maria 
Lorgna, " Lettera . . . parafulmini," 1778; G. Marzari (Vol. II. 
p. 73, of " Treviso Athenaeum"); Fonda " Sopra la maniera . . ." 


Roma, 1770; G. Marzari e G. Toaldo, " Memoria Dcscrizione . . ." 
25 Aprile, 1786; Barbier de Tinan, " M6moire sur la manure d'armer," 
etc., Strasbourg, 1780; F. Maggiotto's letter to Toaldo upon a new elec- 
trical machine; Sestier et Meliu, " De la foudre," etc., Paris, 1866. 

Vincenzo Cliiminello, nephew of Giuseppe Toaldo, whom he 
succeeded at the Padua Observatory and who continued the Giornale 
Astro-meteor ologico after his uncle's death, is the author of works 
on the magnetic needle, on lightning conductors, etc., which are 
treated of in the columns of the Mem. Soc. Ital., Vols. VII and IX; 
the Giornale Astro-met, for 1801, 1804, 1806, as well as in the Saggi 
. . . dell' Accad. di Padova, Nuova Scelta d' Opuscoli, and Opuscoli 
Scelti suite scienze e suite arti. 

REFERENCES. Chiminello's biography, Giorn. deir Ital. Letlera, etc., 
Serie II. tome xvii. p. 164, and in " Atti della Soc. Ital.," Modena, 

A.D. 1778. Dupuis (Charles Frangois), eminent French writer 
who, at the age of twenty-four, became Professor of Rhetoric at the 
College of Lisieux, constructs a telegraph upon the plan suggested 
by Amontons (at A.D. 1704). By means of this apparatus he ex- 
changed correspondence with his friend M. Fortin, then residing at 
Bagneux, until the commencement of the Revolution, when he 
deemed it prudent to lay it permanently aside (Encyclopedia 
Britannica, 1855, Vol. VIII. p. 263). 

A.D. 1778. Brugmans Brugman (Anton), who was Professor 
of Philosophy at the University of Francker between 1755 and 1766, 
publishes his " Magnetismus, seu de amnitatibus magneticis." 
He is, besides, the author of several works upon magnetic matter 
and the magnetic influence, which appeared 1765-1784 and are 
alluded to by Poggendorff (" Biog.-Liter. Hand./' Vol. I. p. 316), 
as well as in the " Vaderlandsche Letter " for 1775 and 1776, and 
at p. 34, Vol. I of Van Swinden's " Recueil de Memoires . . ." 
La Haye, 1784. 

It was in this same year, 1778, that Sebald Justin Brugmans 
Brugman son of Anton Brugmans, a distinguished physician, 
naturalist and author who was the successor of Van Swinden at 
the Francker University, and became Professor of Botany at Leyden, 
discovered that cobalt is attracted while bismuth and antimony 
are repelled by the single pole of a magnet, thus laying the foundation 
of the science of dia-magnetism. 

Humboldt remarks : " Brugmans, and, after him, Coulomb, 
who was endowed with higher mathematical powers, entered pro- 
foundly into the nature of terrestrial magnetism. Their ingenious 
physical experiments embraced the magnetic attraction of all matter, 


the local distribution of force in a magnetic rod of a given form, and 
the law of its action at a distance. In order to obtain accurate results 
the vibrations of a horizontal needle suspended by a thread, as well 
as deflections by a torsion balance, were in turn employed." 

REFERENCES. " Biographic Generate," Vol. VII. p. 582 ; Larousse, 
"Diet. Univ.," Vol. II, p. 1334; "Catalogue Sc. Papers Roy. Soc.," 
Vol. I. p. 672; W.H.Wollaslon," Magnetism of . . , Cobalt and Nickel" 
(Edin. Phil. Jour., Vol. X. p. 183); Kohl on pure cobalt (L. F. F. 
Crell's " Neusten Ent.," Vol. VII. p. 39) ; Tyndall, " Researches on Dia- 
Magnetism," London, 1870, pp. i, 90, etc.; Appleton's Encyclopaedia, 
1870, Vol. IV. p. 10; Hnmboldt's "Cosmos," 1859, Vol. V. p. 61 ; 
Augustin Roux, " Experiences nouvelles ..." (Journal de Midecine, 
for November 1773). Consult also, for Sebald J. Brugmans, " Biog. 
Gne"rale," Vol. VII. p. 582 ; Bory de Saint Vincent, in the " Annales 
Generates de Sciences Physiques," Vol. II. 

A.D. 1779. Lord Mahon, afterward third Earl of Stanhope, 
an Englishman of great ingenuity and fertility in invention and a 
pupil of Lesage of Geneva (at A.D. 1774), publishes his " Principles 
of Electricity," in which he explains the effects of the return stroke or 
lateral shock of an electrical discharge which was first observed by 
Benjamin Wilson (at A.D. 1746). 

He imagined that when a large cloud is charged with electricity 
it displaces much of that fluid from the neighbouring stratum of air, 
and that when the cloud is discharged the electric matter returns 
into that portion of the atmosphere whence it had previously been 
taken. According to Lord Cavendish, the theory developed in the 
above-named work is that " A positively electrified body surrounded 
by air will deposit upon all the particles of that air, which shall 
come successively into contact with it, a proportional part of its 
superabundant electricity. By which means, the air surrounding 
the body will also become positively electrified; that is to say, it 
will form round that positive body an electrical atmosphere, which 
will likewise be positive. . . . That the Density of all such atmo- 
spheres decreases when the distance from the charged body is 

Tyndall says (Notes on Lecture VII) that Lord Mahon fused 
metals and produced strong physiological effects by the return 

In 1781, the English scientist, John Turberville Needham (1713- 
1781), published at Brussels his French translation of Lord Mahon 's 
work under the title of " Principes de TElectricit^.' 1 Needham 
was the first of the Catholic clergy elected to a fellowship of the 
English Royal Society, to whose Transactions be made several con- 
tributions. His numerous works include " A letter from Paris 
concerning some new electrical experiments made there," London, 
1746, also a volume of researches upon the investigations of Spallan- 


zani. The list of his communications to the Phil. Trans, and to the 
" Mem. de 1'Acad. de Bruxelles " will be found in Watt's " Biblio- 
theca Britannica " and in Namur's " Bibl. Acad. Beige " (" Diet. 
Nat. Biog.," Vol. XL. p. 157; Phil. Trans., 1746, p. 247, and Mutton's 
abridgments, Vol. IX. p. 263). 

REFERENCES. " Electrical Researches " of Lord Cavendish, pp. xlvi- 
xlvii Phil. Trans, for 1787, Vol. LXXVil. p. 130; Dr. Thomas 
Young, " Course of Lectures," London, 1807, Vol. I. p. 664 ; Dr. Thomas 
Thomson, " History of the Royal Society," London, 1812, p. 449; 
Sturgeon, " Researches," Bury, 1850, p. 398. 

A.D. 1779. Ingen-housz (Johan), distinguished English physi- 
cian and natural philosopher, native of Breda, publishes, Phil. 
Trans., p. 661, an account of the electrical apparatus which is by 
many believed to have led to the invention of the plate electrical, 
machine, although the same claim has been made in behalf of Jesse 
Ramsden (at A.D. 1768). Dr. Priestley states that Ingen-housz 
and Ramsden invented it independently of one another. He 
describes a circular plate of glass nine inches in diameter turning 
vertically and rubbing against four cushions, each an inch and a half 
long and placed at the opposite ends of the vertical diameter. The 
conductor is a brass tube bearing two horizontal branches extending 
to within about half an inch of the extremity of the glass, so that 
each branch takes off the electricity excited by two of the cushions 
(Dr. Thomas Young, " Course of Lectures," Vol. II. p. 432). 

The plate machine of Dr. Ingen-housz is illustrated at p. 16 of 
" Electricity " in the " Library of Useful Knowledge." For other 
plate machines see, more particularly, Dr. Young's " Course of 
Lectures," Vol. II. p. 431 ; Phil. Trans. 1769, p. 659 ; Geo. K. Winter's 
apparatus with ring conductor and peculiar-shaped rubbers, as well 
as the great machine at the Royal Polytechnic, and that of Mr. Snow 
Harris, illustrated and described in Vol. III. p. 787, " Eng. Ency. 
Arts and Sciences," and at pp. 223, 224 of J. H. Pepper's " Cyclo- 
paedic Science," London, 1869; " Allg. deutsche Biblioth.," B. 
XXIV. Anh. 4, Abth., p. 549, 1760 (Poggendorff, Vol. II. p. 465), 
relative to the machines of Martin Planta, Ingen-housz and Ramsden ; 
Reiser's plate machine (Lichtenberg and Voigt's " Magazin fiir 
das Neueste aus der Physik," Vol. VII. St. 3, p. 73) ; Ferdinando 
Elice, " Saggio sull' Elettricita," Genoa, 1824 (for two electricities) ; 
J. J. Metzger's machine (Elice, " Saggio," second edition, p. 55) ; 
Marchese C. Ridolfi, for a description of Novelluccis' plate electrical 
machine ("Bibl. Italiana," Vol. LXIII. p. 268; " Antologia di 
Firenze," for August 1824, P- *59); Robert Hare, ''Description 
of an Electrical Plate Machine," London, 1823 (Phil. Mag., Vol. 
LXII. p. 8). See, besides, the machines of Bertholon (rubber in 


motion) in Lichtenberg and Voigt's " Magazin," Vol. I. p. 92 and 
Rozier XVI. p. 74 ; of Brilhac (Rozier, XV. p. 377) ; of Saint Julien 
(Rozier, XXXIII. p. 367) ; of Van Marum (Rozier, XXXVIII. p. 447). 
Dr. Ingen-housz also constructed a small magnet, of several 
laminae of magnetised steel firmly pressed together, capable of sus- 
taining one hundred and fifty times its own weight, and he found that 
pastes into the composition of which the powder of the natural 
magnet entered were much superior to those made with the powder 
of iron ; the natural magnet, he observed, having more coercitive 
force than iron. 

REFERENCES. Journal de Physique for February 1786, and for 
May 1788, containing the letters of Dr. Ingen-housz, which show that 
the vegetation of plants is in no sensible degree either promoted or re- 

XXXII. p. 321 ; "XXXlV."p. 436; XXXV "p. 81 ; Journal de Physique, 
Vol. XXXV for 1789. See also, Journal de Physique, XLV (II), 458; 
Rozier, XXVIII. p. 81 ; M. Nuneberg, " Osservazioni . . ." Milano, 
1776 (" Sccltad' Opuscoli," XVII. p. 113) ; Pictro Moscati, " Lettcra . . ." 
Milano, 1781 (" Opus Scelti," IV. p. 410); H. B. dc Saussure (Journal 
de Physique, Vol. XXV for 1784); G. da San Martino, " Memoria. . ." 
Vicenza, 1785; M. Schwenkenhardt, " Von dem Einfluss . . ." (Rozier, 
XXVII. p. 462 ; Journal de Physique for 1786, Vol. I) ; A. M. Vassalli- 
Eandi in the " Mem. del la Soc. Agr. di Torino," Vol. I for 1786, par- 
ticularly regarding the experiments of Ingen-housz and Schwenken- 
hardt; also in the " Giornale Sc. d' una Soc. Fil. di Torino," Vol. Ill ; N. 
Rouland, " Klcc. appiiqu6e aux veg^taux " (Journal de Physique, 1789 
1790) ; Ingen-housz, Rouland, Dormoy, Bcrtholonand Derozieres (Rozier, 
XXXV. pp. 3, 161, 401; XXXVI11. pp. 351, 427, and in Journal de 
Physique. Vois. XXXII, XXXV, XXXVIII) ; M. Carmoy, on the effects of 
electricity upon vegetation, in Rozier, XXXIII. p. 339 ; Jour, de Physique 
1788, Vol. XXXI1T; M. Felmrier, " Me*moire sur quelques propriet^s 
. . ."; G. R. Trevhanus, " Einfluss . . ." Kiel, 1800 (Gilbert's Anna!en, 
Vol. VII for 1801 and " Nordischcs Arch. f. Nat. u. Arzneiw.," ist Band, 
2tes Stiick) ; C. G. Rafii (" Mag. Encyclopdique," No. 19, Ventose An. 
X. p. 370), Paris, 1802; J. P. Gasc, " M6moire sur I'influence . . ." 
Pans, 1823; E. Solly, " On the influence . . ." London, 1845 (" Journ. 
of the Hortic. Society," Vol. I. part ii.) ; E. Romershausen, " Galv. El. 
. . . Vegetation," Marburg, 1851 ; M. Menon, " Influence de I'61ectricit6 
sur la vegetation," and his letters to R. A. F. de Reaumur. Consult 
likewise J. Browning's letter to H. Baker, Dec. n, 1746 (Phil. Trans. 
for 1747, Vol. XLIV. p. 373) ; G. Wallerius, " Versuch . . ." Hamb. and 
Leipzig, 1754; (" K. Schwed. Akad. Abh.," XVI. p. 257; also " Vetensk 
Acad. Handl.," 1754;) L. F. Kamtz (Kaemtz), " Uber d. Elek . . ." 
Nurnberg, 1829; (Schweigger's Journal f. Chemie u. Physik> Vol. LVI;) 
Bartolomeo Zanon, " Intorno un punto . . ." Belluno, 1840; Francesco 
Zantedeschi "Dell influsso . . /' Venezia, 1843; ("Mem. dell Instit. 
Veneto," I. p. 269;) E. F. Wartmann, "Note sur les courants . . ." 
Geneve, 1850; (" Bibl. Univ. de Geneve," for Dec. 1850;) T. Pine, 
"Connection between Electricity and Vegetation/' London, 1840; 
(" Annals of Electricity," Vol. IV. p. 421.) For the effects of galvanism 
on plants, see Giulio in "Bibl. Ital.," Vol. I. p. 28; also E. J. Schmuck 
" On the Action of Galvanic Electricity on the Mimosa Pudica," and M. 
Rinklake, as well as Johann W. Ritter, " Elektrische versuche an der 
Mimosa Pudica." For an account of M. P. Poggioli's observations on 
the influence of the magnetic rays on vegetation, and the reply of F, 


Orioli thereto, see vol. I of the " Nuova collezione d' opuscoli scientific! 
. . ." Bologna, 1817. Dr. Thomas Young's " Course of Lectures," Vol. 
II. pp. 432-433 ; N. K. Molitor's " John Ingen-housz. Anfangsgrunde 
. . . 1781; Geo. Adams, "Lectures on Nat. and Exp. Philosophy," 
London, 1799, Vol. I. pp. 512-515; John Senebier, " Exp6riences," etc., 
ist and 2nd Memoirs, Geneve and Paris, 1788 ; Becquerel in the Comptes 
Rendus for November 1850, also Tome XXXI. p. 633 ; M. Buff (Phil. 
Mag. N. S. Vol. VII. p. 122); Priestley's " History . . ." 1775, p. 487; 
Walsh at A.D. 1773; Cavallo's " Exper. Philosophy," 1803, Vol. III. 
p. 357; Pouillet (Poggendorff's Annalen, Vol. XI. p. 430); Reiss, in 
PoggendorfTs Annalen, Vol. LXXIX. p. 288; G. F. Gardini, " De 
inflvxu . . ." s. 7, p. 10 ; Philosophical Transactions for 1775, 1778, 
p. 1022 ; 1779, p. 537; Journal de Physique, Vol. XVI for 1780; " Erxle- 
ben's phys. bibliothek," s. 530 ; papers relative to the effects of electricity 
upon vegetation alluded to in " Le Moniteur Scientifiquc," more particu- 
larly at pp. 904, 907, 1026, Vol. XX for 1878, and at p. 23, Vol. XXI 
for 1879. 

A.D. 1780. Spallanzani (Lazaro), celebrated Italian naturalist, 
to whom the French Republic vainly offered the Professorship of 
Natural History at the Paris Jar din des Plantes, and who has been 
already particularly alluded to in connection with John Walsh, at 
A.D. 1773, writes a second treatise upon the operations of Charles 
Bonnet, of Geneva, as regards the effects of electricity upon nerves 
and muscles. He is also the author of works upon electrical fishes 
as well as upon meteors, etc., which will be found detailed in Vol. VII 
of the " Biographic Medicale," as well as at Vol. XLIII. p. 246, 
of the " Biographic Universe lie." 

REFERENCES. Alibert's Eloge in Vol. Ill of the " M6m. de la Soc. 
Medicale d'Emulation " ; " Catal. Roy. Soc. Sc. Papers," Vol. V. p. 767; 
" Opus. Scelti," Vols. VII. pp. 340, 361 ; VIII. p. 3 ; XIV. pp. 145, 296; 
Brugnatelli, " Ann. di chimica " for 1793 and 1795 ; " Mem. Soc. Ital.," 
Vols. II. p. ii ; IV. p. 476. 

A.D. 1780-1781. Bertholon de Saint Lazare (Pierre), French 
physician and Professor of Natural Philosophy, and a great friend 
of Dr. Franklin, publishes at Paris his " Electricite du Corps 
Humain . . /' in which he relates more particularly his general 
observations upon atmospheric electricity as affecting the human 
body while in a healthy state and while in a diseased condition. He 
likewise treats of the effects of electricity upon animals, and details 
very interesting experiments upon the torpedo, which latter, he 
remarks, establishes the closest possible resemblance to the Leyden 

He is also the author of " Electricite des Vegetaux " (1783), as 
well as of " Electricite des Mteores " (1787), and of a volume 
entitled " Electricite des Metaux." J. C. Poggendorff says (" Biog.- 
Lit. Handw. . . ." Vol. II. p. 102) that J. Ferd. Meidinger (1726- 
1777) had previously written concerning the action of electric fire 
upon metals and minerals. Johann Jacob Hemmer published, at 
Mannheim in 1780, " Sur 1'Electricite des Metaux " (" Ob. sur la 


Physique/' July 1780, p. 50), and A. A. De La Rive wrote in 1853 
" De 1'Elect. DeVeloppe"e . . ." (" Bibl. Univ.," Vol. LIX). 

REFERENCES. Young's "Course of Lectures," Vol. II. p. 431; 
Ingen-housz at A.D. 1779; Journal de Physique, Vol. XXXV; "Bio- 
graphic Universelle," Vol. IV. p. 149; " Biographic Gendrale," Vol. V. 
p. 722 ; Larousse, " Diet. Univ.," Vol. II. p. 618; " La Grande Encyclo- 
pedic," Vol. VI. p. 450. See also Bertholon's " Nouvelles Preuves . . /' 
pp. 18-19; Arago, "Notices Scientifiques," Vol. I. pp. 338-340, 386; 
" Mercure de France," 1782, No. 52, p. 188; Abb6 d'Everlange de 
Wittry, " Mem. sur 1'Elec. . . . dans les vegetaux et le corps humain," 
read June 24, 1 773 " Anc.Mem. del'Acad. Beige," Vol. I. p. 181 ; Vassalli- 
Eandi, " Esarne della Elett. delle Meteore del Berthoion," Torino, 1787; 
account of the experiments to ascertain the effects of electricity on 
vegetation, made in France during the summer of 1878 by MM. Gran- 
dcau, Celi and Leclerc; and a curious publication, "Les Animaux 
et les Metaux deviennent ils Electriques par communication," by 
L. Bcraud (Berault), alluded to in Poggendorff, Vol. 1. p. 146. 

A.D. 1780-1783. Prof. Samuel Williams, at Cambridge, 
Mass., makes the earliest known observations of the magnetic dip 
in the United States, and publishes them in the " Memoirs of the 
American Academy of Arts," Vol. I. pp. 62, 68. According to this 
authority, the dip in 1783 was 69 41'. The next dip observations 
are those made during Long's expedition to the Rocky Mountains 
in 1819. 

REFERENCES. " American Journal of Science," Vol. XLI1I. pp. 93, 
94; " Trans. Amer. Phil. Soc.," O. S., Vol. 111. p. 115. 

A.D. 1780-1794. Le Pere Amyot (Amiot), learned French 
Jesuit, who was sent in 1751 as a missionary to Pekin, where he 
resided till his decease in 1794, writes, on the 26th of July 1780, 
and also on the 20th of October 1782 that, as a result of a great 
number of observations, he finds no change in the variation of the 
magnetic needle, i. e. that " the point which indicates the north 
declines westerly from 2 to 2\ degrees, rarely more than 4^ degrees, 
and never less than 2 degrees." 

REFERENCES. " Memoires concernant I'histoire," etc., Saillant et 
Nyon, Vol. X. p. 142; Davis, " The Chinese," Vol. III. p. 13. 

A.D. 1781. The so-called compass plant (Silphium lancinatum) 
is first introduced from America into Europe by M. Thouin and 
blooms for the first time in the Botanic Gardens of Upsala, Sweden. 

In the " Scientific American " of February 26, 1881, reference is 
made to the interesting account of this plant given by Sir J. D. 
Hooker in Curtis' " Botanical Magazine/' as well as to the following 
extract from Prof. Asa Gray's report concerning it : " The first 
announcement of the tendency of the leaves of the compass plant 
to direct their edges to the north and south was made by General 
(then Lieutenant) Alvord, of the U.S. Army, during the year 1842, 
and again in 1844, in communications to the American Association 


for the Advancement of Science. . . . The lines in " Evangeline " 
(familiar to many readers) : 

" Look at this delicate plant that lifts its head from the meadow, 
See how its leaves all point to the north as true as the magnet; 
It is the compass plant that the finger of God has suspended, 
Here on its fragile stalk, to direct the traveller's journey, 
Over the sealike, pathless, limitless waste of the desert " 

were inspired through a personal communication made by General 
Alvord to the poet Longfellow. 

In this connection, the following article, headed " A Wonderful 
Magnetic Plant/' translated from La Nature by the London Court 
Journal, will prove interesting : " There has been discovered in the 
forests of India a strange plant (Philotacea electrica) which possesses 
to a very high degree astonishing magnetic power. The hand 
which breaks a leaf from it receives immediately a shock equal to 
that which is produced by the conductor of an induction coil. 
At a distance of six metres a magnetic needle is affected by it, and 
it will be quite deranged if brought near. The energy of this singular 
influence varies with the hours of the day. All powerful about 
two o'clock in the afternoon, it is absolutely annulled during the 
night. At times of storm its intensity augments to striking pro- 
portions. While it rains the plant seems to succumb : it bends its 
head during a thunder-shower and remains without force or virtue 
even if one should shelter it with an umbrella. No shock is felt 
at that time in breaking the leaves, and the needle is unaffected by 
it. One never by any chance sees a bird or insect alight on this 
electric plant ; an instinct seems to warn them that in so doing they 
would find sudden death. It is also important to remark that 
where it grows none of the magnetic metals are found, neither 
iron, nor cobalt, nor nickel an undeniable proof that the electric 
force belongs exclusively to the plant. Light and heat, phos- 
phorescence, magnetism, electricity, how many mysteries and 
botanical problems does this wondrous Indian plant conceal within 
its leaf and flower ! " 

The results of some interesting researches on plant-electricity 
have been reported by A. D. Waller, who finds that whenever a 
plant is wounded, a positive electric current is established between 
the wounded part and the intact parts. This may start with an 
electromotive force of 0*1 volt, but it afterward diminishes. He 
writes further : 

" Actual wounding is not necessary to obtain this manifestation ; 
an electropositive current is set up when there is mechanical ex- 
citation, but it is much weaker (o'02 volt). And light acts like 
mechanical excitation with certain plants, such as the leaves of the 
iris, of tobacco, of the begonia, etc. From the illuminated to the 


darkened part flows a positive electric current that may be as strong 
as 0-02 volt. A similar reaction in the petals is not always observed. 
There is a certain correlation between the vigour of a plant and the 
electric reaction. The more vigorous the plant is, the stronger the 
current. Plants grown from fresh seeds give a more powerful 
current than those from old seeds. A bean a year old gave a 
current of 0*0170 volt ; one five years old, a current of 0*0014; and 
the reaction is inversely and regularly proportional to the age of the 
seed from which the plant springs. There is observed in vegetable 
tissues, subjected to an excitation of the same intensity at regular 
intervals, the characteristic changes of reaction that are present in 
animal tissues fatigue, recuperation, etc. Temperature plays a 
part in all these phenomena ; below 4 to 6 C. [+ to + 25 F.] 
and above 40 C. [108 F.] there is no reaction." 

A.D. 1781. Lavoisier (Antoine Laurent), an eminent French 
natural philosopher, the chief founder of modern chemistry as well 
as of the prevailing system of chemical nomenclature which ended 
in the expulsion of the phlogistic theory, demonstrates by experi- 
menjs made in conjunction with Volt a and Laplace that electricity 
is developed when solid or fluid bodies pass into the gaseous state. 
Sir David Brewster says that the bodies to be evaporated or dis- 
solved were placed upon an insulating stand and were made to 
communicate by a chain or wire with a Cavallo electrometer, or 
with Volta's condenser, when it was suspected that the electricity 
increased gradually. When sulphuric acid, diluted with three 
parts of water, was poured upon iron filings, inflammable air was 
disengaged with a brisk effervescence ; and, at the end of a few 
minutes, the condenser was so highly charged as to yield a strong 
spark of negative electricity. Similar results were obtained when 
charcoal was burnt on a chafing dish, or when fixed air or nitrous 
gas was generated from powdered chalk by means of the sulphuric 
and nitrous acids. 

The phlogistic theory alluded to above, which was so named by 
George Ernest Stahl in 1697 after Johann Joachim Beccher (1635- 
1682) had pointed out its principle in 1669, had for its most energetic 
defender the editor of the Journal de Physique, M. J. C. De La 
Metherie, who is entered at A.D. 1785, and it was in order to offset 
the influence which this gave him that the antiphlogistians estab- 
lished the Annales de Chimie, so frequently mentioned in these 
pages. 1 

1 " The first sound theory of chemistry was denominated the anti- 
phlogistic, in contradistinction to that of phlogiston, or the principle of in- 
flammability, which was first proposed by Beccher (born at Spires in Germany 
in the year 1635) and then improved by Stahl, a native of Anspach, in honour 


REFERENCES. George Adams' " Lectures on Nat. and Exp. Philo- 
sophy," London, 1799, Vol. I. pp. 575-587, wherein Lavoisier's system 
is confuted by the German chemist Wieglib, whose views are endorsed 
by Mr. Green, while for Stahl and Beccher, refer to Sir H. Davy, 
" Bakerian Lectures," London, 1840, p. 102, note, to " Biog. Ge"n./' 
Vol. V. pp. 85-87; " Meyer's Konvers. Lexikon," Vol. II. p. 654, and 
to Thomson's " Plist. of Roy. Soc./' London, 1812, p. 467. See also 
J. M. G. Beseke, " Ueber elementarfeuer . . ." Leipzig, 1786; G. A. 
Kohlreif, " Sollte die elektricitat . . ." Weimar, 1787; Lavoisier and 
Laplace, in the " Mem. de 1'Acad. Roy. des Sciences " for 1781, p. 292 ; 
Lavoisier's " Opuscules . . ." 1774, and his " Rapport . . . mag. 
animal./' Paris, 1784; Dr. Thomas Thomson, "Hist. Roy. Soc./' 
pp. 479-486; HerschePs "Nat. Phil./' concerning the third age of 
chemistry; Gre"goire, "Diet, d'hist./' etc., p. 1171; Miller's "Hist. 
Phil. Illus.," London, 1849, Vol. IV. pp. 332-333, notes. Chap. IV of the 
" History of Chemistry," Ernst Van Meyer, tr. by George McGowan, 
London, 1898, entitled " History of the Period of the Phlogiston Theory 
from Boyle to Lavoisier," will prove interesting. " La chimie constitute 
par Lavoisier," Jacob Volhard, in " Le Moniteur Scientinque," du Dr. 
Quesneville, Vol. XIV for 1872, pp. 50-71; " Nouveau Larousse," Vol. 
V. p. 608 ; " La Revolution chimique," M. Berthelot, Paris, 1890 ; " Essays 
in Historical Chemistry," T. E. Thorpe, London, 1894, PP- 87, no; 
" Journal des Savants " for Nov. 1859 and Feb. 1890; " Lives of Men 
of Letters and Science," by Henry, Lord Brougham, Philadelphia, 1846, 
pp. 140-166. 

A.D. 1781. Acliard (Franz Carl), able chemist and experimental 
philosopher, born in Prussia but of French extraction, communi- 
cates to the " Mem. de Berlin " a report of many very interesting 
experiments made by him, which are reviewed by Prince Dmitri 
Alexewitsch Fiirst Gallitzin, in Vol. XXII of the Journal de 

He had previously published essays upon the electricity of ice 
and the electricity developed on the surface of bodies, as well as 
upon terrestrial magnetism, the electrophorus, etc. He made 
many notable investigations to prove that fermentation is checked 
by electricity and that putrefaction is hastened both in electrified 
meats and in animals killed by the electric shock. 

One of his experiments illustrating galvanic irritation so greatly 
interested Humboldt that the latter repeated it with different 
animals, not doubting but small birds might in many cases be brought 
back to life when they fall into a state somewhat resembling death. 
On one occasion, he took a linnet about to expire and, having 
established the necessary communication, perceived, the moment 
the contact took place, that the linnet opened its eyes, stood erect 
upon its feet and fluttered its wings ; it breathed, he says, during 
six or eight minutes and then expired tranquilly. 

of whom it has been commonly denominated the Stahlian theory. The differ- 
ence between the two theories is briefly this, that according to the earlier 
a body is conceived to be deprived in combustion of a component principle, 
whereas according to the later a component part of the atmosphere is conceived 
to be combined with it" (Dr. Geo. Miller, from Thomson's " History of 
Chemistry," London, 1830, Vol. I. pp. 246, 250, and Vol. II. pp. 99-100). 


It was a namesake of Achard who invented the electro-magnetic 
brake which will be found described and illustrated in articles from 
the London Engineer and Engineering, reproduced through the 
Scientific American Supplements, No. in, p. 1760, and No. 312, 
p. 4974. 

REFERENCES. Poggendorff, " Biog.-Lit. Hand. . . ." Vol. I. p. 7; 
"Biographic Generate," Vol. I. p. 176; "Cat. Roy. Soc. Sc. Papers," 

Vol. 1. p. 9; " Opus. Scelt.," Vols. III. p. 313; V. p. 351; VI. p. 199; 
Reuss, Repertorium, Vol. IV. p. 351; Dr. G. Gregory, "Economy of 
Nature," London, 1804, Vol. I. p. 317; Van Swinden, " Recueil . . ." 

La Haye, 1784, Vol. I. p. 24; " Biographic Universelle," Vol. I. p. 114; 
"Journal Lit. de Berlin," for 1776; Cavallo, London, 1777, p. 403; 
"Mem. de Berlin" for 1776-1780, 1786, 1790-1791; Sturgeon, "Lec- 
tures," London, 1842, p. 12; Geo. Adams, " Essay on Electricity," etc., 
London, 1785, pp. 214-220, 277; " Gott. Mag.," Vol. II. ii. 139; Rozier, 
VIII. p. 364; XV. p. 117; XIX. p. 417; XXII. p. 245; XXIII. p. 282; 
XXV. p. 429; XXVI. p. 378; Phil. Mag., Vol. III. p. 51. 

A.D. 1781. Kirwan (Richard), LL.D., F.R.S., an Irish chemical 
philosopher of great eminence, who became President of the Dublin 
Society and of the Royal Irish Academy, receives from the English 
Royal Society its gold Copley medal for the many valuable scientific 
papers communicated by him to the latter body. These papers 
embrace his " Thoughts on Magnetism/' wherein he treats at length 
of attraction, repulsion, polarity, etc., as shown in the review given 
a t PP- 346-353 of the eighth volume of Sturgeon's " Annals of 
Electricity," etc. 

It is said that Kirwan first suggested the notion of molecular 
magnets, but, according to Dr. J. G. M'Kendrick, it was not till 
a definite form was given thereto by Weber that it acquired any 

REFERENCES. Transactions Royal Irish Academy, Vol. VI; Ninth 
" Encycl. Britannica," Vol. XV. p. 276 ; Phil Mag., Vol. XXXIV. p. 247 ; 
Thomson, " Hist, of the Roy. Soc.," p. 483; " Bibl. Britan.," An. VII. 
vol. xii. p. 105. 

A.D. 1781. Mauduyt (Antoine Rene) (1731-1815), Professor at 
the College de France, publishes several observations from which he 
concludes that the application of electricity is favourable in cases of 
paralysis. He was in the habit of placing the patient upon an 
insulated stool, in communication with the conductor of an electrical 
machine. De La Rive, who mentions the fact (" Electricity/' 
Chap. III. pp. 586, 587), observes that the effect, if any, could 
only proceed from the escape of electricity into the air. 

REFERENCES. Bertholon, Elec. du Corps. Humain, 1786, Vol. I. 
pp. 275-276, 302, 439, 447, etc., and Vol. II. pp. 7 and 296; " Me"moire 
sur les differentes manieres d'administrer r&ectriciteV' etc., Paris, 1784; 
" Recueil sur Telectricite medicale," etc., containing articles by G. F. 
Bianchini, De Lassone, Deshais (see Sauvages), Dufay, Jallabert, Pivati, 


Quellmalz, Veratti, Zetzell, etc. ; K. G. Kuhn's works published at Leipzig, 
1783-1797; E. Ducretet in " Le Cosmos," Paris, Oct. 3, 1891, pp. 269- 
272 ; P. Sue, ain6, " Hist, du Galvan," Paris, An. X-XIII, 1802, Vol. I. 
p. 40; and Vol. II. p. 382; " Grande Encyclop.," Vol. XXIII. p. 415. 

A.D. 1781-1783. Don Gauthey Gauthier or Gualtier a 
monk of the Order of Citeaux, improved upon the invention of Dupuis 
(at A.D. 1778) and constructed a telegraph, which he submitted at 
the Academic des Sciences to Dr. Franklin as well as to Condorcet 
and De Milly, by whom it was recommended to the French Govern- 
ment. In his prospectus, published during 1783, he relates that 
he has discovered a new mode of rapid transmission enabling him 
to convey intelligence and sound, by means of water pipes, a distance 
of fifty leagues in fifty minutes. Ternant, who states this at pp. 33 
and 34 of Le TeUgraphe, Paris, 1881, adds that, as no action was 
taken at the time upon the prospectus, it doubtless still lies in the 
archives of the Academy. 

REFERENCES. Laurencin, Le T&ttgraphe, p. 9; Eng. Cycl., " Arts 
and Sciences," Vol. VIII. p. 65; " Penny Cycl.," 1842, Vol. IV. p. 146. 

A.D. 1782. Nairne (Edward), an English mathematical instru- 
ment maker, publishes papers on electricity describing his in- 
ventiorj of a cylinder machine which is illustrated and described at 
p. 15 of the chapter on " Electricity " in " Library of Useful Know- 
ledge," 1829. In this, as has been truly said, are seen all the 
essential parts of the frictional apparatus now in use. 

This machine, according to Cuthbertson, was originally con- 
structed in 1774, and was far more powerful than any before made. 
Nairne also constructed the largest battery known up to that time. 
It contained 50 square feet of coated surface, and it could be given 
so high a charge as to ignite 45 inches of iron wire T ii7 of an inch 
diameter, which up to that period was the greatest length of 
wire ever ignited. Nairne, while improving upon some of Priestley's 
experiments, found that a piece of hard drawn iron wire, ten inches 
long and one-hundredth of an inch diameter, after receiving 
successively the discharge of 26 feet of coated glass (nine jars), 
was shortened three -fortieths of an inch by such discharge. Dr. 
Priestley had previously observed that a chain 28 inches long was 
shortened one quarter of an inch after having had transmitted 
through it a charge of 64 square feet of coated glass, and Brooke 
Taylor found that by passing a charge of nine bottles of 16 feet of 
coated surface nine times in succession through a steel wire 12 
inches long and one one-hundredth of an inch diameter, the wire was 
shortened one and one-half inches, or one-eighth its entire length. 

To Nairne was granted the third English patent in the Class of 
Electricity and Magnetism, the first having been issued to Gowin 


Knight in 1766 (see A,D. 1746) and the second to Gabriel Wright, 
June 25, 1779, for "a new constructed azimuth and amplitude 
compass." Knight subsequently covered other similar inventions, 
July 5, 1791, and Jan. 19, 1796. Nairne's patent bears date 
Feb. 5, 1782, No. 1318, and is for what he calls " The Insulated 
Medical Electrical Machine/' the conductors of which are so arranged 
as to readily give either shocks or sparks. He says that " by means 
of the conductors and jointed tubes, the human body can be in any 
part affected with either kind of electricity in any convenient 

REFERENCES. Philosophical Transactions for 1772, 1774, 1778, 1780, 
1783, Vol. LX1V. p. 79; Vol. LXVIII. p. 823; Vol. LXX. p. 334; 
also Mutton's abridgments, Vol. XIII. pp. 360 (dipping needle), 498 ; 
Vol. XIV. pp. 427-446, 688; Vol. XV. p. 388; " General Biog. Diet.," 
London, 1833, by John Gorton, Vol. I. (n. p.); Cuthbertson, " Practical 
Electricity/' London, 1807, pp. 165-168; article " Electricity," in the 
" Encycl. Britannica " ; " Description of ... Nairne's . . . Machine," 
London, 1783 and 1787; Caullet de Veaumorel, "Description de la 
machine electrique negative et positive de Mr. Nairne," Paris, 1784; 
Delaunay's " Manuel," etc., Paris, 1809, pp. 7, 12-14. 

A.D. 1782-1783. Linguet (Simon, Nicolas, Henri), French 
advocate (1736-1794), who was an associate of Mallet du Pan in the 
preparation of the Annales Politiques and who was later on com- 
mitted to the Bastille in consequence of a visit which he imprudently 
made to Paris, writes a letter to the French Ministry proposing 
a novel method of transmitting messages of any length or descrip- 
tion by means of some kind of a telegraph, " nearly as rapidly as 
the imagination can conceive them/' He adds, " I am persuaded 
that in time it will become the most useful instrument of commerce 
for all correspondence of that kind; just as electricity will be the 
most powerful agent of medicine ; and as the fire-pump will be the 
principle of all mechanic processes which require, or are to com- 
municate, great force." 

To Linguet has been attributed the authorship of the anonymous 
letter which appeared in the Journal de Paris of May 30, 1782, and 
in Lc Mercure de France of June 8, 1782, wherein it is proposed to 
employ twenty-four pairs of gilt wires, placed underground in 
separate wooden tubes filled with resin and bearing a knob at each 
extremity. Between each pair of knobs was to be placed a letter 
of the alphabet, which would become discernible whenever the 
electric spark was passed through the wire by means of the Leyden 


REFERENCES. Tcrnant, Le Ttlegraphe, Paris, 1881, p. n; Linguet, 
" Mm. manuscrit . . . signaux par la lumidre," Paris, 1782; all about 
the " Mercure de France," in " Bulletin du Bibliophile " No. 7 of July 
15, 1902 ; " Biog. Diet.," Alex Chalmers, 1815, Vol. XX. p. 290; " Nouv. 
Biog. Gen." (Hcefer), Paris, 1860, Vol. XXXI. p. 279; " Biog. Univ." 
(Michaud), Vol. XXIV. p. 565. 


A.D. 1782-1791. Cassini (Jean Jacques Dominique, Comte de), 
son of Cassini de Thury, eminent astronomer, makes the very 
important announcement that, besides the secular variation of 
the decimation, the magnetic needle is subject to an annual periodical 
fluctuation depending on the position of the sun in reference to the 
equinoctial and solstitial points. 

Cassini's discovery is contained in a Memoir consisting of two 
parts, the first part being a letter addressed to L'Abbe Rosier and 
published by him in the Journal de Physique, while the second part, 
composed at request of the Academie des Sciences, is that which 
specially treats of the annual variation in declination. 

Besides the last named, we have thus far learned of the secular 
variation discovered by Gellibrand (Hellibrand) in 1635, as well 
as of the diurnal and horary variations, first accurately observed 
by George Graham during the year 1722, and we have likewise been 
informed of the earliest observations of the dip or inclination, made 
independently by both Georg Hartmann (A.D. 1543-1544) and by 
Robert Norman (A.D. 1576), as well as of the determination of the 
intensity of the inclination by J. C. Borda (at A.D. 1776). For 
accounts of the secular and annual, as well as of the diurnal and 
horary variations of the dip, the reader should consult the First 
Section of Humboldt's " Cosmos " treating of telluric phenomena 
and some of the very numerous references therein given. 

Speaking of the influence of the sun's position upon the mani- 
festation of the magnetic force of the earth, Humboldt remarks 
that the most distinct intimation of this relation was afforded by 
the discovery of horary variations, although it had been obscurely 
perceived by Kepler, who surmised that all the axes of the planets 
were magnetically directed toward one portion of the universe. He 
says that the sun may be a magnetic body, and that on that account 
the force which impels the planets may be centred in the sun 
(Kepler, in " Stella Martis," pp. 32-34 compare with it his treatise, 
" Mysterium Cosmogr./' cap. 20, p. 71). He further observes that 
the horary variations of the declination, which, although dependent 
upon true time are apparently governed by the sun as long as it 
remains above the horizon, diminish in angular value with the 
magnetic latitude of place. Near the equator, for instance, in the 
island of Rawak, they scarcely amount to three or four minutes, 
whilst the variations are from thirteen to fourteen minutes in the 
middle of Europe. As in the whole northern hemisphere the north 
point of the needle moves from east to west on an average from 
8J in the morning until ij at midday, in the southern hemisphere 
the same north point moves from west to east (Arago, Annuaire, 
1836, p. 284, and 1840, pp. 330-358). Attention has been drawn, 


with much justice, to the fact that there must be- a region of the 
earth, between the terrestrial and the magnetic equator, where no 
horary deviations in the declination are to be observed. This fourth 
curve (in contradistinction to the isodynamic, isoclinic and isogonic 
lines, or those respectively of equal force, equal inclination and equal 
declination), which might be called the curve of no motion, or rather 
the line of no variation of horary declination, has not yet been dis- 
covered. No point has hitherto been found at which the needle 
does not exhibit a horary motion, and, since the erection of magnetic 
stations, the important and very unexpected fact has been evolved 
that there are places in the southern magnetic hemisphere at which 
the horary variations of the dipping needle alternately participate 
in the phenomena (types) of the hemispheres. 

Humboldt also alludes, in the article on " Magnetic Variation," to 
his recognition of the " four motions of the needle, constituting, as 
it were, four periods of magnetic ebbing and flowing, analogous to 
the barometrical periods," which will be found recorded in Han- 
steen's " Magnetismus der Erde," 1819, s. 459, and he likewise 
refers to the long-disregarded nocturnal alterations of variation, for 
which he calls attention to Faraday " On the Night Episode," 
ss. 3012-3024. (See also, Poggendorffs Annalen der Physik, Bd. 
XV. s. 330, and Bd. XIX. s. 373.) 

The Phil. Trans, for 1738, p. 395, contain the description of a 
new compass for ascertaining the variation " with greater ease and 
exactness than any ever yet contrived for that purpose." This was 
devised by Capt. Christopher Middleton, whose many interesting 
observations are to be found in the same volume of the Phil. Trans., 
p. 310, as well as in the volumes for 1726, p. 73; 1731-1732, 1733- 
I 734> P- I2 7>* I 74 2 P- I 57> an d in John Martyn's abridgment, 
Vol. VIII. part i. p. 374. Reference should also be made to the 
volumes for 1754 (p. 875) and 1757 (p. 329), giving the reports of 
W. Mountaine and J. Dodson upon the magnetic chart and tables 
of 50,000 observations, likewise to the volume for 1766 containing 
the report of W. Mountaine on Robert Douglass' observation, as 
well as for the record of investigations of the variation made by 
David Ross on board the ship " Montagu " during the years 

REFERENCES. Sabine, " On the Annual and Diurnal Variations," 
in Vol. II of " Observations made ... at Toronto," pp. xvii-xx, also 
his Memoir " On the Annual Variation of the Magnetic Needle at Different 
Periods of the Day," in Phil. Trans, for 1851, Part II. p. 635, as well as 
the Introduction to his " Observations ... at Hobart Town," Vol. I. 
pp. xxxiv-xxxvi, and his Report to the British Association at Liverpool, 
1854, p. ii Phil. Trans, for 1857, Art. i, pp. 6, 7 relative to the lunar 
diurnal magnetic variation. See likewise C. Wolf, " Histoire de I'ob- 
servatoire depuis sa fondation a 1793"; Houzeau et Lancaster, 


" Bibl. Gen.," Vol. II. p. 102; " Me*m. de Paris," Vol. 
Vol. VII. pp. 503, 530 ; Walker, " Ter. and Cos. Magn.," Chap. Ill ; Mme. 
~ n, " His ' ~ 

" Bibl. Gen.," Vol. II. p. 102; " Me*m. de Paris," Vol. II. p. 74, and 
Vol. VII. pp. 503, 530 ; Walker, " Ter. and Cos. Magn.," Chap. Ill ; Mme. 
J. Le Breton, " Histoire et Applic.," etc., Paris, 1884, p. 17; Robison, 
" Mech. Phil.," Vol. IV. p. 356 ; Thos. Young, " Nat. Phil,," 1845, p. 583. 


This celebrated family, to which allusion was made under A.D. 
1700, deserves here additional notice. 

Giovanni Domenico Cassini (1625-1712), the first and greatest 
of the name, succeeded Buenaventura Cavalie'ri in the astronomical 
chair of the Bologna University in 1650, and remained there until 
given the directorship of the Paris Royal Observatory upon its 
completion in 1670. Partly with the assistance of his learned 
nephew, James Philip Maraldi, Cassini made many important dis- 
coveries, among which may be signalled the finding of the first, 
second, third and fifth satellites of Saturn, as well as the dual 
character of that planet's ring, the determination of the rotation 
of Jupiter, Mars and Venus, and the laws of the moon's axial rotation. 
(See Thomson, " Hist, of the Roy. Soc.," p. 331; " Anc. Mem. de 
Paris," I, VIII, X; Thos. Morrell, " Elem. of the Hist, of Phil, 
and Sc.," London, 1827, pp. 377-379.) 

Jacques (James) Cassini (1677-1756), the only son of the 
preceding, became director of the Paris Observatory upon the death 
of his father, made many very important astronomical observations, 
and wrote several treatises upon electricity, etc. In one of his 
works, " De la Grandeur et de la Figure de la Terre," Paris, 1720, 
he gives an account of the continuation of the measurement of 
Picard's arc of the meridian from Paris northward, begun by 
Domenico Cassini and La Hire in 1680, and recommenced by 
Domenico and Jacques Cassini in 1700. (See " Mem. de Paris/' 
Vol. VII. pp. 455, 456, 508, 572 ; and for years 1705, pp. 8, 80 ; 
1708, pp. 173, 292; 1729, Hist. I., Mem. 321.) 

Cesar Francois Cassini de Thury (1714-1784), son of Jacques, 
whom he in turn succeeded at the Observatory, was, as above stated, 
the father of Jean Dominique Cassini (1747-1845). He made 
numerous researches while in the Director's Chair, his most remark- 
able work being the large triangulation of France published in 
1744, under the title of " La M&idienne," etc. (See " Hist, de 
1'Acad. des Sciences de Paris " pour 1752, p. 10.) 

A.D. 1783. Robespierre (Franc,ois-Maximilien- Joseph-Isidore 
de), who afterward became leader of the famous French Jacobin 
Club, and was at the time practising law in his native town of Arras, 
distinguishes himself by successfully defending the cause of the Sieur 
de Vissery de Boisvale, a landed proprietor of that place, who had 


erected a lightning conductor on his house, " much to the scandal of 
the discreet citizens " of the locality " Deistical philosophy; away 
with it ! " (Eighth " Britannica," Vol. XIX. p. 233). 

Mr. de Bo is vale's case was an appeal from a judgment delivered 
by the sheriff of Saint-Omer, ordering the destruction of the lightning 
conductor, and its printed report bears the following epigraph : 

" L'usage appuye sur les temps 
Et les prdjuges indociles. 
Ne se retire cm 'a pas lents 
Devant les verites utiles." 

Jean Paul Marat, docteur en medecine et medecin des Gardes de 
corps de M. le Comte d'Artois, who, like Robespierre, was a 
member of the French National Convention as well as a declared 
enemy of the Girondins, and who was killed by Charlotte Corday, 
July 13, 1793, made many electrical experiments. These greatly 
interested Benjamin Franklin, who used to visit him (Ninth " Encycl. 
Brit.," Vol. XV. p. 526). He was the author of many electrical 
works during the years 1779-1784, notably " De*couvertes sur le 
feu, Telectricite et la lumiere," " Recherches Physiques/ 1 and a 
memoir on medical electricity (" (Euvres de Marat/' Paris, 1788; 
A. Bougeart, " Marat, Tami du peuple/' 1864; F. Chevremont, 
" Jean Paul Marat," 1881). 

REFERENCES. Ronalds' " Catalogue," p. 434; LaLumibre Electrique 
for Sept. 5, 1891; the Electrician, London, Sept. n, 1891. 

A.D. 1783. Wilkinson (C. H.), Scotch physician, publishes at 
Edinburgh his " Tentamen Philosophico-medicum de Electricitate," 
which is followed, during 1798 and 1799, by other works upon 
electricity, wherein he cites a number of marvellous cures of inter- 
mittent fevers similar to those made by Cavallo, also of amaurosis 
(goutte sereine) and of quinsy (squinancie) like those performed by 
Lovet, Becket and Mauduyt. 

During the year 1804 appeared the first edition, in two volumes, 
of his " Elements of Galvanism in Theory and Practice/' containing 
a very comprehensive review of the discovery from the time of 
Galvani's early experiments. In this last-named work, however, 
he shows that incipient amaurosis and the completely formed gutta 
serena have not yielded to his own treatment by galvanic influence 
as had been the case with Dr. C. J. C. Grapengieser, who published 
many accounts of surprising cures (Grapengieser, " Versuche den 
Galvanismus . . /' Berlin, 1801 and 1802, or Brewer and Dela- 
roche, " Essai . . ." Paris, 1802). The whole of Chap. XXXVI is 
devoted to the application of galvanism to medicine, whereto allusion 
had already been made in the first chapter of the same work. 


Wilkinson refers also to the electricity of the torpedo, and to the 
observations made thereon by Hippocrates, Plato, Theophrastus, 
Pliny and ^Elian, also by Belon, Rondelet, Salviana and Gesner, 
as well as by Musschenbroek, Redi, Reaumur, Walsh, Hunter, 
Spallanzani, 'Sgravesande, Steno, Borelli, Galvani and others. 
Much space is likewise given to the observations recorded on animal 
electricity, notably by Fontana, De La Metherie, Berlinghieri, 
Vassali-Eandi, Humboldt, Pfaff, Lehot, Halle", Aldini, and to the 
experiments of Valli as they were repeated before the French 
Academy of Sciences and before the Royal Society of Medicine of 
Paris, in presence of M. Mauduyt. When treating of the powers 
of galvanism as a chemical agent, reference is made to the decom- 
position of water, thus first effected in 1795 by Creve, the discoverer 
of metallic irritation, and to the operations of Nicholson and Carlisle, 
Dr. Henry, Cruikshanks, Haldane, Henry Moyes, Richter, Gibbes, etc. 

REFERENCES. J. J. Hemmer, " Commcntat Palatinae," VI, Phys., 
p. 47; Bertholon, " Elec. du Corps Humain," 1786, Vol. I. pp. 314, 330, 
483, and Vol. II. p. 299; " Bibl. Britan.," 1808, Vol. XXXVI11. p. 270 
(Phil. Mag., No. 105); Annales de Chimie, Vol. LXXVIII. p. 247; 
Phil. Mag., Vol. XXIX. p. 243, and Vol. XLIX. p. 299; F. Buzzi, 
" Osscrvazione . . . amaurosi . . . elcttricita," Milano, 1783 (" Opus. 
Scelti," Vol. VI. p. 359); Nicholson's Journal, Vol. VIII. pp. i, 70, 206; 
also Vol. X. pp. 30-32, for letter relative to certain erroneous observa- 
tions of Mr. Wilkinson respecting galvanism, by Mr. Ra. Thicknesse, 
who also wrote in Vol. IX. pp. 120-122, explaining the production of the 
electric fluid by the galvanic pile. 

A.D. 1783. Saussure (Horace -Benedict de), Professor of Physics 
at the University of Geneva and founder of the Society for the 
Advancement of the Arts in the same city, is the inventor of an 
electrometer designed to ascertain the electrical state of the atmo- 
sphere, which will be found described in Vol. VIII. p. 619 oi the 
1855 " Encycl. Britannica," 

He observed that electricity is strongest in the open air, that it 
is weak in streets, under trees, etc., and that during the summer 
and winter, by night as well as by day, when the atmosphere is free 
from clouds, the electricity of the air is always positive. In contra- 
distinction, Mr. T. Ronayne found in Ireland that the electricity 
of the atmosphere is positive in winter when the air is clear, but that 
it diminishes in frosty or foggy weather and that he could detect 
no electricity in the air during summer except on the approach of 
fogs, when the electricity proved to be positive. During the year 
1785, M. de Saussure observed at Geneva that, during the winter, 
the intensity of atmospherical electricity attained its first maximum 
at 9 a.m., diminishing from that hour until it reached its mini- 
mum at 6 p.m., after which it began to increase until attaining its 
second maximum at 8 p.m., diminishing gradually thereafter till 


it recorded its second minimum at 6 a.m. During the summer he 
found the electricity increasing from sunrise till between 3 and 
4 p.m., when it would reach its maximum; after that it appeared 
to diminish till the dew fell, when it again became stronger, but 
was scarcely sensible during the night. 

Sir David Brewster informs us in his able article on " Electricity " 
in the " Britannica " that De Saussure made a number of elaborate 
experiments on the electricity of evaporation and combustion. He 
observed at first that the electricity was sometimes positive and 
sometimes negative when water was evaporated from a heated 
crucible, but in his subsequent trials he found it to be always positive 
in an iron and in a copper crucible. In a silver, also in a porcelain 
crucible, the electricity was negative and the evaporation of both 
alcohol and of ether in a silver crucible also gave negative electricity. 
M. de Saussure made many fruitless attempts to obtain electricity 
from combustion, and he likewise failed in his efforts to procure 
it from evaporation without ebullition. 

To De Saussure is often erroneously attributed the authorship 
of Lullin's " Disscrtatio physica de electricitate," alluded to at 
A.D. 1766. 

REFERENCES. De Saussurc's " Disscrtatio de Igne," " Exposition 
abrege"e," etc. (translated by Giuseppe Toaldo, in both his " Delia 
maniera," etc., and " Dei conduttori," etc., Venezia, 1772 and 1778), 
" Voyage dans les Alpes," all published at Geneva, 1759, 1771, 17 79, 
also the important 1786 Neuchatel edition of the last-named work, more 
particularly at pp. 194, 197, 203, 205, 206, 211, 212, 216, 218, 219, 228, 
252, 254 of Vol. II, and at pp. 197, 257 of Vol. IV; likewise his Memoirs 
relative to the electricity of the atmosphere, of vegetables, of micro- 
scopic animals, etc., etc., alluded to in Journal de Physique for 1773, 
1784, 1788; in Journal de Paris for 1784, 1785; in Vol. 1 of Lazaro 
Spallanzani's "Opuscoli di fisica," etc., for 1776; in Vol. Ill of the 
" Opuscoli Scelti di Milano," and in the Philosophical Transactions. 
See also Jean Senebier, " Me*moire historique," etc., Geneve, 1801 ; 
Louis Cotte in his " Trait6," etc., " M6moires," etc., " Observation," 
etc., Paris, 1762, 1769, 1772; in the " M6moires de Paris," Ann6e 1769, 
"Hist., "p. 19; Anne"e 1772, "Hist., "p. 16, and in the Journal de Physique 
for 1783, Vol. XXIII; the experiments of MM. Becquerel and Brachet 
in Becquerel's " Trait6 d'El. et de Magn.," Paris, 1836, Vol. IV. p, no; 
Theodor ^Egidius von Heller, " Beobach d. Atmosphar. Elektricitat." 
(F. A. C. Gren, " Neues Journal der Physik for 1797, Vol. IV) ; Faujas 
de St. Fond, " Description," etc., Vol. II. p. 271, as per George Adams' 
" Essay on Electricity," London, 1799, p. 419; Noad, " Manual," etc., 
London, 1859, p. 16; Poggendorfl, Vol. II. p. 755; Rozier, XXXI. 
pp. 317, 374; XXXIV. p. 161 ; articles " Meteorology and Electricity " 
in the "Encyclopaedia Britannica"; Thomas Young, "Course of 
Lectures," etc., London, 1807, Vol. II. pp. 447, 466-471. 

A.D. 1784. Swinden (Jan Hendrik Van) (1746-1823), who had 
been made Professor in the University of Franequer at the early 
age of twenty (1767), and was at this time occupying the Chair of 
Natural Philosophy and Mathematics at Amsterdam, publishes in 


three volumes, at La Haye, his " Recueil de Memoires sur 1'Analogie 
de TElectricite et du Magne'tisme/' etc. (" De Analogia . . ." in 
Vol. II of the " Neue Abhandl. der Baierischen Akad. Phil."). 
The latter contains all the essays sent to the Electoral Academy of 
Bavaria on the subject " Is There a Real and Physical Analogy 
Between Electric and Magnetic Forces ; and, if Such Analogy Exist, 
in What Manner Do These Forces Act Upon the Animal Body? " 

Van Swinden 's essay, which gained him one of the prizes, shows 
that, in his opinion, the similarity between electricity and magnetism 
amounts merely to an apparent resemblance, and does not constitute 
a real physical analogy. He infers from this that these two powers 
are essentially different and distinct from one another, but the 
contrary opinion was maintained by Profs. Steiglehuer and Hubner, 
who contended that so close an analogy as that exhibited by these 
two classes of phenomena indicated the effects of a single agent, 
varied only in consequence of a diversity of circumstances. 

The eminent professor, Gerard Moll, of Utrecht, has communi- 
cated to the Edinburgh Journal of Science (1826, Vol. I. part ii. 
pp. 197-208) a biographical notice of Van Swinden, wherein he gives 
a list of the hitter's principal works and there speaks of one of his 
best-known productions in following manner : " The Positioncs 
Physicce (Opusc. Scelti, X. 7), as far as they are published (Hardero- 
vici, 1786, Vol. I and Vol. II. part i.), are allowed to rank among 
the best elements of natural philosophy, and have been found 
by actual experience to belong to the best sources from which the 
young student could draw his information on those parts of natural 
philosophy, and its general principles, as are contained in the first 
volume and part of the second, which is all that was published. 
The work itself is on a most extensive plan; and the multifarious 
avocations which crowded on Van Swinden in Amsterdam delayed 
the publications, and made him afterward abandon all thoughts of 
completing a work which would have done the greatest honour to 
its author, and which even now, unfinished as it is, is celebrated as 
an excellent specimen of sound reasoning and profound learning." 

Van Swinden was the first President of the Royal Institute of 
the Netherlands. He entered with ardour into all the new dis- 
coveries of his day and kept up an extensive correspondence with 
many of the leading scientific characters of the time, notably with 
the Swiss philosopher, Charles Bonnet (whose " Contemplations de 
la Nature " he annotated extensively) ; with Dr. Matthew Maty (who 
became secretary of the Royal Society upon the resignation of 
Dr. Birch in 1765, and who was appointed, by the king, principal 
librarian of the British Museum upon the death of Dr. Gowin 
Knight, 1772) ; with the eminent French physician, Michel-Augustin 


Thouret, Dean of the Paris " Faculte* de Medecine "; as well as 
with Delambre, Euler, De Saussure, and many others who have 
been named elsewhere in this " Bibliographical History." 

The following is further extracted from Prof. Moll's interesting 
paper : " Mr. Biot, in his treatise on Natural Philosophy (Tome III. 
p. 143) asserts that we are indebted to Cassini IV. (see Jean Domini- 
que, Comte de Cassini, at A.D. 1782-1791) for much of what we know 
even about the diurnal variation of the needle. This, I think, is 
not fair. We do not mean to undervalue Mr. Cassini's observations, 
but it is unquestionable that long before the. publication of that 
philosopher's work, Mr. Van Swinden had observed and published 
(' Recherches sur les aiguilles aimantees et leurs variations ' 
Memoires presentes a TAcad&nie des Sciences de Paris, Tome VIII 
prize essay 1777) that which Mr. Biot less accurately is pleased to 
ascribe to his countryman. In this respect, however, Mr. Van 
Swinden was treated with more justice by other eminent philo- 
sophers, such as Hatiy, Halley and Burkhardt." (Consult also the 
" Acta Acad. Petrop." for 1780, Part I. Hist. p. 10.) 

In the aforenamed very meritorious work, " Rccueil de Memoires," 
etc., crowned by the Bavarian Academy, Van Swinden has treated 
fully of the then current theories relative to electrical and magnet ical 
phenomena, reviewing the entire field of their application. In so 
doing he has necessarily made numerous references to discoverers 
and experimenters of all countries, the names of many of which 
appear in the present compilation, and while it is, of course, useless 
here to quote these anew, it has been thought best, for a record, to 
specify such as are infrequently met with, and which appear in many 
of his most important articles, even at the risk of being accused of 
diffuseness or prolixity. They are as follows : 

REFERENCES. John T. Ncedham (Vol. IV, Mem. Brussels Acad. 
for 1783) ; Phil. Trans., 1746, p. 247; J. G. Lehmann (" Abhandlung von 
Phosph." ; "Von Magnet Theilen im Sande," " Novi Com. Acad. 
Petrop./' Vol. XII. p. 368, etc.); M. De La Cepede, " Essai sur 1'El. 
nat et artif."; C. E. Gellert (" Com. Acad. Petrop.," Vol. XIII. p. 382, 
Exp. 15, 16); J. F. Henckel, " Pyritologia," etc.; J. E. Von Herbert, 
" Theor. Phaen. Elect.," cap. 4, prop. 8; C. F. M. D6chales, " Mundus 
Mathematicus," lib. i, Quartus Exper. Ordo., exp. 16, Tome II. p. 488, 
ed. 2, etc. ; M. Marcel's Dissertation on powdered magnets, which appears 
in the Dutch " Uitgezogte Verhandelingen," Vol. I. p. 261, etc.; Jean 
M. Cadet (" Nova Acta. Physico. Med. Acad. Natur. Curios.," Tome 
III) ; Abbe* Giraud-Soulavie (" Comment. . . . CEuvres de Mr. 
Hamilton," note 4, p. 303) ; J. B. Le Roy (" Mm. de 1'Acad. de Paris," 
for 1753, p. 447; for 1772, p. 499; Jour, de Phys., Vol. II); Rudolph 
Richard (" Magazin d. Hamb.," IV. p. 681) ; Gilles A. Bazin, " Descnp. 
des Cour, Mag.," Plates 14, 16-18; J. F. Gross, " Elektrische Pausen," 
Leipzig, 1776; Jour, de Phys., Vol. X. p. 235; Niccold Bammacaro, 
"Tentamen de vi Electrica," etc., s. 6; Samuel Colepress (Phil. Trans., 
1667, No. 27, Vol. I. p. 502) ; E. F. Du Tour, " Discours sur 1'aimant," 


s. 27; " Recueil des Prix dc 1'Acad. de Paris," Tome V. m6m. ii. p. 49; 
" M6m. Math, et Phys."; Mr. Calendrin, at Van Swinden's, Vol. I. 
pp. 233, etc.; M. Blondeau (" M6m. de 1'Acad. de Marine," Brest., 
Tome* I. s. 46, pp. 401-431, 438);). A. Braun, " Observations," etc.; 
" Novi. Comment. Acad. Pctrop.," Vol. VII. pp. 388, 407 ; M. Antheaulme 
(" Mem. sur les aimants artif." (prize essay), 1760, " Mem. de 1'Acad. 
Roy.," 1761, p. 21 1 ; Van Swinden, 1784, Vol. 11. pp. 95, 170); J. N. 
Rcichenberger, " Directorium magneticum magneticis," etc., and " Hy- 
drotica," as at Van Swinden, 1784, Vol. II. pp. 272-273 ; Geo. C. Schmidt, 
"Bcschr., eincr Klektrisir Masch.," etc., 1778; M. De la Folie (Jour, de 
Phys., 1774, Vol. III. p. 9) ; Colestin Steiglehner, " Obs. phaenom. elect.," 
" Ueber die Annal der Elek. und des Magn." ; Lorenz Hubncr, " Abh. u. d. u. mag. Kraft"; Jos. Thad. Klinkosch, " Schreiben," etc., 
" Bcschreib. d. Volta . . . Elektrophors." Reference should also be made 
to Noad, "Manual," etc., p. 641 ; Encycl. Brit., 1857, Vol. XIV. p. 6; 
" Messagcr des Sciences et des Arts," Gand, 1823, pp. 185-201, detailing 
all of Van Swinden's works ; Antoine Thillaye's treatise presented to the 
Ecole de M6dccine le 15 Flore"al, An. XI; Butct (" Bull, des Sc. de la 
Soc. Philom.," No. 43, Vend&niaire, An. IX). 

A.D. 1784. Cotugno (Domenico), Professor of Anatomy at 
Naples, thus addresses Le Chevalier G. Vivenzio under date October 
2, 1784 : " The observation which I mentioned some days ago, when 
we were discoursing together of the electrical animals, upon which 
I said I believed the mouse to be one of that number, is the following : 
Toward the latter end of March, I was sitting with a table before me 
and observing something to move about my foot, which drew my 
attention. Looking toward the floor I saw a small domestic mouse, 
which, as its coat indicated, must have been very young. As the 
little animal could not move very quick, I easily laid hold of it by 
the skin of the back and turned it upside down ; then with a small 
knife that laid by me, I intended to dissect it. When I first made 
the incision into the epigastric region, the mouse was situated be- 
tween the thumb and finger of my left hand, and its tail was got 
between the last two fingers. I had hardly cut through part of the 
skin of that region, when the mouse vibrated its tail between the 
fingers, and was so violently agitated against the third finger that, 
to my great astonishment, I felt a shock through my left arm as 
far as the neck, attended with an internal tremor, a painful sensation 
in the muscles of the arm, and such giddiness of the head, that, 
being affrighted, I dropped the mouse. The stupor of the arm 
lasted upward of a quarter of an hour, nor could I afterwards think 
of the incident without emotion. I had no idea that such an animal 
was electrical; but in this I had the positive proof of experience." 
(See G. Vivenzio, " Teoria e pratica della elettricita med." . . . 
Napoli, 1784.) 

Cotugno 's observations attracted much attention throughout 
Italy and gave rise to many experiments, notably by Vassalli, who, 
however, merely concluded from them that the animal's body could 
retain accumulated electricity in some unaccountable manner. 


REFERENCES. Essai sur Vhistoire, etc., J. B. Biot, p. 9; Journal de 
Physique. XLI. p. 57 ; M two ires Recrtatifs, etc., par Robertson, Paris, 
1840, Vol. I. p. 233; Cavallo, Electricity, London, 1795, Vol. III. p. 6; 
Izarn, Manuel, Paris, 1804, p. 4 ; Journal Encycloptdique de Bologne, 1786, 
No. 8; Poggendorff, Vol. I. p. 417; Sue, aine " Hist, du Galv.," Vol. I. 
pp. 1-2. 

A.D. 1785. Coulomb (Charles Augustin de), the founder of 
electro-statics and of the school of experimental physics in France, 
invents the torsion balance, with which he discovers the true law 
of electric and magnetic attractions and repulsions. Some have 
asserted that Lord Stanhope had previously established the law 
with regard to electricity, but it has not been seriously questioned 
that its extension to magnetism belongs exclusively to Coulomb. 
Johann Lamont (" Handbuch . . ." p. 427) gives the credit of the 
latter discovery to Giovannantonio Delia Bella, of Padua, who is 
mentioned by Poggendorff (" Biog.-Liter. Handworterbuch," Vol. I. 
p. 139) as the author of several works on electricity and magnetism, 
but the claim does not appear to be established upon any satisfactory 

With his torsion balance, or rather electrometer, Coulomb meas- 
ured the force by the amount of twist it gave to a long silken thread 
carrying a horizontal needle, constructed, preferably, of a filament 
of gum-lac or of straw covered with sealing-wax. From his experi- 
ments he concluded : That the attractive force of two small globes, 
one electrified positively and the other negatively, is in the inverse 
ratio of the squares of the distances of their centres, and that the 
repulsive force of two small globes, charged either with positive 
or negative electricity, is inversely as the squares of the distances 
of the centres of the globes (" Mm. de 1'Acad. Roy. des Sciences," 

1784, 1785). 

In one of his three memoirs to the French Academy during 

1785, he states that a balance used by him was so delicate that each 
degree of the circle of torsion expressed a force of only one 
hundred-thousandth of an English grain, that another, suspended 
by a single fibre of silk four inches long, made a complete revolution 
with a force of one seventy-thousandth of a grain, and turned to 
the extent of a right angle when a stick of sealing-wax, which had 
been rubbed, was presented to it at the distance of a yard. It is 
said that a similar electrometer has been constructed in which the 
movement of one degree recorded a force not exceeding twenty-one 
million six-hundred-thousandths of a grain. 

The many valuable experiments made by Coulomb on the 
dissipation of electricity and upon the distribution of electricity 
upon the surfaces of bodies are fully recorded in the able article of 
Sir David Brewster in the "Encyclopaedia Britannica" (F. C. Achard, 


" M&n. de Berlin/' 1780, p. 47) ; M. Vernier, " De la dist. . . . 
conducteurs," Paris, 1824; J- L. F. Bertrand, " Programme d'une 
these . . ." Paris, 1839; D. Bourdonnay, " Sur la dist. . . . 
conducteurs," Paris, 1840 ; Ed. A. Roche in " Montp, Acad. Sect. 
Sciences/' Vol. II. p. 115). 

He discovered that shellac is the most perfect of all insulators, 
also that a thread of gum-lac insulates ten times better than a dry 
silken thread of the same length and diameter : and he established 
the law that the densities of electricity insulated by different lengths 
of fine cylindrical fibres, such as those of gum-lac, hair, silk, etc., 
vary as the square root of the lengths of the fibre. 

Besides the communications above alluded to, Coulomb sent to 
the French Academy, during the years 1786, 1787, 1788 and 1789, 
many papers upon Electricity and Magnetism, and, up to within 
two years of his death (1806), he made many notable experiments, 
especially in magnetism, of which full accounts are given^in several 
of the Memoires noted at foot. The theory of the two magnetic 
fluids appeared in his 1789 paper. It is also in this same paper that 
Coulomb describes his improved method of making artificial magnets 
by employing compound magnets as first made use of by Gowin 
Knight and as explained at A.D. 1746. Still further improvements 
in these were brought about more particularly by the young Flemish 
scientist, Etienne Jean Van Geuns (1767-1795), by Jean Baptiste 
Biot (see A.D. 1803), and by the Rev. Dr. Scoresby during the 
year 1836. 

Coulomb found that a steel wire is, by twisting, rendered capable 
of being nine times more strongly magnetized; that the magnetic 
power dwells on the surface of iron bodies and is independent of 
their mass ; that the directive force of a magnetized bar reached its 
maximum when tempered to a bright cherry-red heat at 900 degrees, 
and that every substance is susceptible of magnetism to a degree of 
actual measurement. This last important research was communi- 
cated by him to the French Institute during the year 1802. His 
experiments proved that a grain of iron could communicate sensible 
magnetism to twenty pounds' weight of another substance, and that 
when even beeswax had incorporated with it a portion of iron filings 
equal only to the one hundred-and-thirty-thousandth part of its 
weight it was yet sensibly affected by the magnet. 

According to Dr. Thomas Young, Coulomb's improvements in 
the theory of electricity may be considered as having immediately 
prepared the way for the elegant inventions of Volta and for the 
still more marvellous discoveries of Davy. Dr. Young gives reports 
of some of Coulomb's experiments at p. 439, Vol. II of his " Course 


of Lectures/' London, 1807 (" Journal of the Royal Institution/' 
Vol. I. p. 134; " Decade Philosophique," No. 21). 

REFERENCES. " Me"m. de 1'Acad. Royale des Sciences," Paris, 1784, 

" Me* moires de Coulomb," Vol. I of the " Collection de Me" moires relatifs 
a la Physique," Paris, 1884; " Cat. of Sc. Papers Roy. Soc.," Vol. III. 
p. 73 ; " Abstracts of Papers of Roy. Soc.," Vol. II. p. 402 ; " Bull, de la 
Soc. Philom.," Nos. 3, 31, 61, 63, and for 1795, 1802 ; Journal de Physique, 
Vols. XLV (II), pp. 235, 448 ; LIV. pp. 240, 267, 454 ; LV. p. 450 (for 
Carradori's report) ; Ch. N. A. De Haldat du Lys (" M6m. de Nancy " 
for 1841); Phil. Magazine, Vols. XI. p. 183; XII. p. 278; XIII. p. 401; 
XV. p. 186; Rozier, XXVII. p. 116; XLIIL p. 247; Gilbert, XI. pp. 254, 
367 ; XII. p. 194 ; Dr. Young, " Course of Lectures," London, 1807, Vol. I. 
pp. 682, 685, 686 ; " Royal Society Cat. of Sc. Papers," Vol. II. p. 73 ; Eighth 
" Britannica," Vol. XIV. pp. 37-38; Humboldt, "Cosmos," 1859, 
Vol. V. p. 61 ; SchafTner, "Manual," 1859, p. 56; Biot's article in the 
" Biographic Universelle " and Biot's " Traite dc Physique," Paris, 1816, 
Vols. II, III; Dr. Thomas Thomson, "Outline of the Sciences," etc., 
London, 1830, pp. 350, 351, 379-422; Harris, " Rudim. Magn.," Parts I, 
II. p. 56. See also description of the electrometer of Colardeau and the 
electro-micrometer of Delaunay, in the latter's " Manuel," etc., Paris, 
1809, pp. 66, 76-80, and Plate V. fig. 61, as well as Libes' " Diet, de 
Phys.," Vol. I. p. 406. 

A.D. 1785. The Canon Gottoin de Coma, friend of Alessandro 
Volta, observes that an iron wire about thirty feet in length will 
give a sound under certain conditions of the atmosphere when 
stretched in the open air. The circumstances that accompany, as 
well as those that favour the production of the phenomenon, says 
Prescott, demonstrate that it must be attributed to the transmission 
of atmospheric electricity. This transmission does not occur in a 
continuous manner, like that of a current, but is observable by a 
series of discharges. 

REFERENCES. Knight's Mechanical Dictionary, 1876, Vol. III. 
p. 2515; Prcscott's "The Speaking Telephone," etc., 1879, p. 122; EncyL 
Britannica, 1860, Vol. XXL p. 631. 

A.D. 1785. Marum (Martin Van), a Dutch electrician who had 
in 1776 taken the degree of M.D. at the Academy of Groningen, 
constructs for the Teylerian Society at Haarlem, with the assistance 
of John Cuthbertson, an electrical machine said to be the most 
powerful theretofore made. According to Cavallo (Nat. Phil., 
1825, Vol. II. p. 194) it consisted of two circular plates of French 
glass, each sixty-five inches in diameter, parallel with each other on 
a common axis, and about seven and a half inches apart. Each 
plate was excited by four rubbers, the prime conductor being divided 
into two branches which entered between the plates and, by means 
of points, collected the electric fluid from their inner surfaces only. 

In Van Marum 's machine, the positive and negative electricity 


could only be obtained in succession, but Dr. Hare, of the University 
of Pennsylvania, remedied this by causing the plates to revolve 
horizontally. It is said the machine was so powerful that bodies 
at a distance of forty feet were sensibly affected ; a single spark from 
it melted a leaf of gold and fired various kinds of combustibles ; a 
thread became attracted at the distance of thirty-eight feet, and a 
pointed wire was tipped with a star of light at a distance of twenty- 
eight feet from the conductor. 

Descriptions of his machines are given by Dr. Van Marum in 
letters to the Chevalier Marsiglio Landriani and to Dr. Ingen-housz, 
both printed in Haarlem during 1789 and 1791. The first quarto 
volume of Nicholson's Journal also contains a reference thereto and 
gives (p. 83) the extract from a letter read June 24, 1773 (Phil. 
Trans. , Vol. LXIII. pp. 333-339), addressed to Dr. Franklin, F.R.S., 
by John Merwin Nooth, M.D., who describes improvements by which 
machines are rendered effective in all kinds of weather. Nooth was 
the inventor of the silk flap, of which mention was made in the 
description of Cavallo's machine (under A.D. 1775). 

Van Marum also constructed a powerful battery, the metallic 
coatings of which were equal to 225 square feet, enabling him to give 
polarity to steel bars nine inches long, nearly half an inch wide and 
one-twelfth of an inch thick, as well as to sever a piece of boxwood 
four inches diameter and four inches long, and to melt three hundred 
inches of iron wire one hundred-and-fiftieth of an inch in diameter, 
or ten inches of one-fortieth of an inch in diameter. It is said 
that, during these experiments, the report was so loud as to stun 
the ears, and the flash so bright as to dazzle the sight. 

Dr. Van Marum likewise made experiments upon the electricity 
developed during the melting and cooling of resinous bodies, which 
are detailed in the article " Electricity," 8th Edit. " Encyclopaedia 
Britannica," Vol. VIII. p. 565, and also upon the effects of electricity 
on animals and vegetables, which are given at pp. 49-51 of the 
article " Electricity " in the " Library of Useful Knowledge/' as 
well as in the 1855 Edit. " Encyclopaedia Britannica," Vol. VIII. 
pp. 602, 603. 

In 1785 again Van Marum discovered that electric sparks, on 
passing through oxygen gas, gave rise to a peculiar sulphurous or 
electrical odour, which Cavallo called " electrified air/' and the 
presence of which Dr. John Davy, brother of Sir Humphry Davy, 
found the means of detecting. 

During the month of October 1801 Volt a wrote a letter to Van 
Marum asking him to make, in concert with Prof. C. H. Pfaff, of 
Kiel, several experiments on the electricity of the pile with the 
very powerful apparatus of the Teylerian Society. The extended 


researches of these two scientists are embodied in the Phil. Mag., 
Vol. XII. p. 161, as well as in the " Lettre a Volta," etc., published 
at Haarlem during 1802, and are likewise treated of in a very com- 
plete manner throughout Chaps. XVI and XXXII of Wilkinson's 
well-known work on galvanism. Their united observations confirm 
the doctrine of Volta as to the identity of the current of the fluid 
put in motion by the voltaic pile and that to which an impulsion is 
given by an electrical machine. Thus is answered the question 
asked during May 1801 by the Haarlem Society of Sciences, viz. 
" Can the voltaic pile be explained in a satisfactory manner by the 
known laws and properties of electricity ; or is it necessary to con- 
clude the existence of a particular fluid, distinct from the one which 
is denominated electrical? " They also demonstrated that the 
current put in motion by the voltaic pile has an enormous celerity 
" which surpasses all that the imagination can conceive." With a 
pile of one hundred and ten pairs of very large copper and zinc 
plates, they made experiments on the fusion of iron wires and 
ascertained the causes of the more considerable effects of large 
piles in the fusion and oxidation of metals, proving, among other 
facts, as Biot and Cuvier had already done, that a part of the oxygen 
is absorbed whether the operation be carried on in the open air or 
in vacuo (Biot and Cuvier, Soc. Philomathique, An. IX. p. 40; 
Annales de Chimie, Vol. XXXIX. p. 247). 

Another of Van Marmn's experiments is related in a letter to M. 
Berthollet. wherein he says :"...! have succeeded in the decom- 
position of water, by means of the current of the electrical machine, 
provided with a plate of thirty-one inches diameter, constructed by 
me on a new plan (see the Journal de Physique for June, 1795). . 
I took a thermometrical tube, of the kind employed in making the 
most sensitive thermometers of Crawford and Hunter, for which 
purpose I had procured several of these tubes some time before in 
London. Its diameter interiorly was not more than the one-hun- 
dredth part of an inch ; and I introduced into it an iron wire of the 
diameter of about the three-hundredth part of an inch, to the depth 
of about twelve inches. I now closed the end of my thermometrical 
tube with sealing wax in such a way that the extremity of the iron 
wire should scarcely project, and I placed the tube itself, by means 
of a cork, within a larger tube containing water. The rest of the 
apparatus was arranged in the customary manner. By directing 
the powerful current of the above-mentioned machine to this 
apparatus, the copper ball belonging to which, placed on the ther- 
mometrical tube, was at the distance of about three or four lines 
from the conductor, I succeeded in decomposing the water with a 
promptitude nearly equal to that which results from a voltaic pile 


of a hundred pairs of metallic plates." This method of decomposing 
water is a very tedious one, and is in fact the result of an interrupted 
explosion, while the process of Dr. Wollaston (alluded to at A.D. 1801) 
is tranquil and progressive. 

REFERENCES. " Biogr. Univ.," Vol. XLII. p. 600; J. G. Heinze, 
" Ncue clekt. vcrsuche . . ." Oldenberg, 1777; Tries' claim to Van 
Marum's machine in Rozier, XL. p. 116; Prieur's extract in A nnales de 
Chimie, Vol. XXV. p. 312; " Verhand. Genootsch. Rott.," VI for 1781 
and VIII for 1787; Journal de Physique, XXXI, 1787; XXXIII, 1788 
(Marum en Troostwyk) ; XXXIV, 1789; XXXVIII, 1791; XL, 1792; 
" Journal du Galvanisme," XI, Cahier, p. 187; "Journal des Savants " 
for August 1905 ; " Revue Scientifique, " Paris, April 8, 1905, pp. 428-429 ; 
Nicholson's Journal for March 1799, Vol. II. p. 527; Harris, "Elec- 
tricity," pp. 62, 90, 171; Cuthbertson, " Practical Electricity," London, 
1807, pp. 166, 172, 197, 225; Cavallo, " Electricity," 4th ed., Vol. II. 
p. 273; " Lib. of Useful Knowledge," "Electricity," p. 45; Wilkinson, 
Elements of Galvanism," etc., London, 1804, Vol. II. pp. 106-128, 384 ; 
" Teyler's Tweede Genootschap "; Gilbert, Annalen, I. pp. 239, 256; X. 
p. 121; Rozier, XXVII. pp. 148-155; XXXI. p. 343; XXXIV. p. 274; 
XXXVIII. pp. 109, 447; XL. p. 270; " Opus. Scelti," IX. p. 41; XIV. 

p. 2IO. 

A.D. 1785. Sigaud de la Fond, Professor at the College d'Har- 
court in Paris, publishes in the latter city his " Precis historique et 
experimental des phenomenes electriques," wherein he states having, 
as far back as 1756, made use of a circular plate machine provided 
with cushions and similar in shape to that which many claim to have 
originated with Ingen-housz and with Ramsden. (See A.D. 1779 
and A.D. 1768.) 

Sigaud de la Fond is also the author of " Description d'un 
Cabinet de Physique " (1784), " Cours de Physique/' etc. (1786), 
"Examen.," etc. (1803) and of several treatises on medical electricity. 

REFERENCES. "Journal de Physique," Vol. II. 1773; Figuier, 
" Exposition et Histoire," Paris, 1857, pp. 50, 74-76, 178; Poggendorff, 
Vol. II. p. 927. 

A.D. 1785. In the " Nachricht von einer neuen Elektrisir- 
maschine des Herrn Walkiers von Saint Amand," the last named 
gives a description of the electrical machine presented by him in 
1784 to the Belgian Academy of Sciences. 

It is also described and outlined in Delaunay's " Manuel " named 
below, but, although very powerful in its effects, cannot be made 
readily available in consequence of its huge dimensions. M. 
Caullet de Veaumorel suggested the feasibility of changing the 
cylinders from a horizontal to a vertical position. 

REFERENCES. " Lichtenberg's Mag.," Vol. III. i st. p. 118 ; Delaunay, 
" Manuel," etc., 1809, pp. 1416. 

A.D. 1785. Adams (George), mathematical instrument maker to 
his Majesty, writes an enlarged edition of his " Essay on Electricity/ 1 


etc., which first appeared the year previous and wherein, as its full 
title indicates, he endeavours to explain the theory and practice 
of that science and the mode of applying it to medical purposes. 
He illustrates many experiments and gives an Essay on Magnetism, 
in the treatment of which latter he acknowledges the valuable aid 
of Dr. J. Lorimer. 

The fifth and last edition of the " Essay/' which was issued by 
William Jones in 1799, four years after Adams' death, contains a 
communication on the subject of Medical Electricity by John Birch, 
the author of " Delia Forza dell' Elettricita," etc., Napoli, 1778. 

At p. 86 of the 1799 " Essay/' etc., Adams relates that, while 
M. Loammi Baldwin (" Memoirs of Amer. Acad./' Vol. I. p. 257) 
held the cord of his kite during the approach of a thunderstorm, 
he " observed himself to be surrounded by a rare medium of fire, 
which, as the cloud rose nearer the zenith, and the kite rose higher, 
continued to extend itself with some gentle faint flashes." At pp. 
137, 186 and 222, he alludes to " A. Brook's Miscellaneous Experi- 
ments and Remarks on Electricity," etc., as well as to the Rev. 
John Lyon's " Experiments and Observations of Electricity/' and 
refers to the " Journal of Natural Philosophy " (Vol. II. p. 438) for 
Nicholson's experiments on the plus and minus of electricity. 

A.D. 1785. La Metherie (Jean Claude de), French physicist 
naturalist, becomes sole editor of the " Journal de Physique, de 
chimie et d'histoire naturelle/' and publishes in Paris his " Essai 
Analytique," etc., wherein amongst other observations he asserts 
that the electric spark results from the combination of oxygen with 

He considers that all bodies exist in an electrical or magnetical 
condition, that we are only a temporary aggregation of molecules of 
matter governed in different ways by nature's laws, and that excita- 
bility is produced by galvanic action resulting from the superposition 
of nervous and muscular fibres. 

He is also the author of very interesting treatises on animal 
electricity communicated to the Journal de Physique (Vol. XLII. 
pp. 252, 255, 292), and of which an account is given in Sue's 
" Histoire du Galvanisme," Paris, 1802, Vol. I. pp. 64-68. The 
last-named work also gives, at p. 80, an account of the letter on 
" Galvanism " sent to M. De La Metherie by M. Leopold Vacca- 
Berlinghieri (Journal de Physique, Vol. XLI. p. 314). 

REFERENCES. " Biographic G6ndrale," Vol. XXIX. p. 209; Rozier, 
XLI. p. 437; Delaunay, " Manuel," etc., 1809, p. 15, also Delaunay's letter 
in Phil. Mag* Vol. XXVII. p. 260; C. H. Wilkinson, " Elements of 
Galvanism," London, 1804, Vol. I. p. 62; Vol. II. p. 9; " Opus, Scelti," 
' 373 Journal de Physique et Chimie (of which La Me'the'rie remained 


editor up to the time of his death, during 1817), Vols. LIII, LIV, 
Pluviose, An. XI. p. 161 ; also p. 157 for letter sent him by Giuseppe 
Izarn; Ann. di Chim. di Brugnatelli, Vol. XIX. p. 156; Aubert, " Elek- 
trometische Flasche," Paris, 1789. 

A.D. 1785. According to Prof. Tyndall, George Cadogan 
Morgan sought to produce the electric spark in the interior of solid 
bodies. He inserted two wires into wood and caused the spark to 
pass between them ; the wood was illuminated with blood-red light 
or with yellow light according as the depth at which the spark was 
produced proved greater or less. The spark shown within an ivory 
ball, an orange, an apple, or under the thumb, illuminates these 
bodies throughout. A lemon is especially suited to this experiment, 
flashing forth, at every spark, as a spheroid of very brilliant golden 
light, and a row of eggs is also brilliantly illuminated throughout, 
at the passage of every spark from a Leyden jar. Morgan likewise 
made several experiments to ascertain the influence of electricity 
on the animal functions. These are alluded to at p. 602, Vol. VIII 
of the 1855 " Britannica," and at p. 49 of "Electricity" in the 
" Library of Useful Knowledge/' 

This George Cadogan Morgan (1754-1798) was an English phy- 
sician and also a Professor of Natural Philosophy at Hackney, in an 
establishment founded by his uncle, Dr. Price. His " Lectures on 
Electricity " appeared in Norwich during the year 1794. In the 
second volume he describes (pp. 225-236) " the form, noise, colours 
and devastation of the electric flash," and treats (pp. 383-397) of 
the " relation of the electric fluid to vegetation," alluding more 
particularly to the experiments of Maimbray, Nollet, Achard, 
Duvernier, Ingen-housz, Van Breda, Dr. Carrnoy and the Abbe 
d'Ormoy. He likewise gives an account of the northern lights, 
as well as descriptions of Bennet's movable doubler and electro- 
scope, and of Lane's electrometer. 

REFERENCES. Morgan's biography in Larousse, " Diet. Universel," 
Tome XI. p. 562, and in " Biog. Generale," Tome XXXVI. p. 570; 
"Bibl. Britan." An. VII. vol. ii. pp. 129, 223, and Vol. XII. p. 3. 

A.D. 1786. Rittenhouse (David), an American physicist and 
astronomer who afterward became F.R.S. and succeeded Dr. 
Franklin as President of the Am. Philos. Soc., publishes his theory 
of magnetism in a letter to John Page at Williamsburg, which is 
reproduced at folio 178 of Vol. II, old series, of the Transactions of 
the above-named Society. 

" Were we called upon/' says Renwick, " to assign him a rank 
among the philosophers whom America has produced, we should 
place him, in point of scientific merit, a,s second to Franklin alone.' 1 - 


REFERENCES. "Trans. Am. Phil. Soc.," Vol. II, O.S., pp. 173, 175, 
for Page and Rittenhouse, and Vol. III. for Rittenhouse and Jones, as 
well as Rittenhouse and Hopkinson, upon "Meteors and Lightning." 

A.D. 1786. Galvani (Aloysio or Luigi), an Italian physician, 
who, at the age of twenty-five, was Professor of Anatomy at the 
University of Bologna, is led to the discovery of that important 
branch of electricity which bears his name. The manuscript giving 
the result of his experiments upon the Electricity of Metals is dated 
Sept. 20, 1786. 

From papers in the " Bolognese Transactions," noted below, 
it would appear that he had, even before the year 1780, made many 
observations on the muscular contraction oi frogs by electrical 
agency. Upon one occasion his wife happened to be holding a 
scalpel against the dissected legs and parts of the spine of a frog, 
which lay in close proximity to the conductor of an electrical machine 
recently charged by one of Galvani's pupils. She noticed that 
whenever the dissecting knife touched the muscles they were violently 
convulsed, and, upon communicating the fact to her husband, he 
repeated and extended the experiment and found it necessary to pass 
the electric fluid through a metallic substance in order to develop 
the result originally observed. At first the frogs had been hung upon 
a copper hook fastened to an iron railing, but he afterward substi- 
tuted an arc composed of both metals and with which he could 
readily produce the same results as were obtainable with an electrical 

Galvani also made experiments to ascertain the effect of atmo- 
spheric electricity upon the nerves of frogs. He connected the latter 
with rods leading to lightning conductors erected upon the roof of 
his house, attaching also ground wires to the legs of the animals, 
and found that the same convulsions appeared whenever lightning 
was seen and likewise when heavy storm clouds passed over the 

The results of his many interesting observations were first made 
public in the celebrated work entitled " Aloysii Galvani de viribus 
electric itatis in motu musculari. Commentarius : cum Aldini 
dissertatione et notis," which appeared during 1791-1792. Therein, 
he expresses the belief that the bodies of animals possess a peculiar 
kind of electricity by which motion is communicated through both 
nerve and muscle, positive electricity going to the nerve, while 
negative electricity goes to the muscle, and that the muscles represent 
the exterior and the nerves the interior of the Leyden jar, the dis- 
charge being similarly produced by the metal which communicates 
with both. 

Galvani's singular experiments naturally attracted everywhere 


the attention of philosophers, by whom they were repeated and 
varied, but by none were they more assiduously prosecuted than by 
Volta, who was then a Professor at the Pavia University, and who, 
as already indicated, was led by them to the discovery of the voltaic 
pile and of voltaic or galvanic electricity. 

The announcement of Galvani's observations was made in 
Germany, notably by J. F. Ackermann (" Medicinisch-chirurgische 
Zeitung "), by M. Er (" Physiologische Darstellung der Lebens- 
krafte "), by M. Smuck (" Beitrage zur weiteren Kenntniss," etc.), 
and by F. A. C. Gren (" Journal der Physik," Vols. VI, VII and 
VIII), while experiments were continued upon an extensive scale 
by the Italians F. Fontana, Carlo Francesco Bellinger!, M. Giulio 
and F. Rossi, as well as by Samuel T. Von Sommering, by Wilhelm 
Behrends and by Karl Friedrich Kielmayer (Kielmaier), Professor of 
Medicine at the Tubingen University (Poggendorff, Vol. I. p. 1253). 
For the curious galvanic experiments of the celebrated French 
physician Larrey, and of Stark, Richerand, Dupuytren and Dumas, 
see " Bulletin des Sciences de la Societe Philomathique," 1793, 
Nos. 23, 24, and " Principes de Physiologic/' Vol. II. p. 312. 

REFERENCES. C. Alibert, " Eloges Historiques dc Galvani, Spallan- 
zani, Roussel et Bichat ..." Paris and Bologna, 1802-1806 (" Me"m. 
de la Soc. d'Emul. de Paris," Vol. IV; S. Gherardi, " Rapporto sui 
Manoscrotti," Bologna, 1840, p. 19) ; Poggendorff, Vol. I. p. 839; Thomas 
Thomson, " History of the Royal Society," London, 1812, pp. 450, etc. ; 
Thomas Young, " Course of Lectures," London, 1807, Vol. II ; " Bologncse 
Transactions " for papers dated April 9, 1772, April 22, 1773 and Jan. 
20, 1774; Sabine, " El. Tel.," 1872, pp. 16-18; Knight's " Mech. Diet./' 
Vol. II. pp. 936, 937, for extract from report of Nat. Inst. of France, 
July 4, 1798; " Johnson's Encyclop.," 1877, Vol. I. p. 1510; Bakewell's 
" Electricity," p. 26; " Encyclop. Britannica," 1855, Vol. VIII. p. 530, 
and Vol. XXI. pp. 609, etc. ; Fahie's " History," etc., 1884, pp. 180-185 ; 
Phil. Trans., 1793; Miller, " History Philos. Illustrated," London, 1849, 
Vol. IV. p. 333; Thomson, " Hist, of Chemistry," Vol. II. pp. 251, 252; 
Mattcucci, " Traite des phdnomencs, " etc., Part I. p. 7; the Address of 
M. Gavarret made in 1848 before the Paris Medical Faculty; J. C. I. A. 
Crevc's treatise on Galvanism (" Jour, de la Soc. de Mcd.," Vol. XVIII. 
p. 216) ; " Mem. de la Soc. Me"d. d'Emul.," Vol. I. p. 236) ; Biot et Cuvier 
(Ann. de Ch. t Vol. XXXIX. p. 247); A. Richerand (" Me"m. de la Soc. 
MeU d'Em." Vol. III. p. 311); " Opus. Scelt.," Vol. XV. p. 113 ; " Giornale 
Fis. Med.," Vol. II. pp. 115, 131 (letter of B. Carminati) ; Marsiglio 
Landriani, " Lettera," etc., 1776; Lettre d'un ami au Comte Prosper 
Albo (" Bibl. de Turin," 1792, Vol. I. p. 261 ; Jour, de Phys., Tome XLl. 
P- 57) I " Comment Bonon. Scient.," Vol. VII. p. 363 ; account of 
the experiments made by MM. Cortambert and Gaillard, reported in 
" Me"m. de la Soc. M6d. d'Em.," Vol. I. pp. 232, 235 ; G. Klein's " Dissert, 
de M6tal," etc., Maintz, 1794; Ostwald's Klassiker, No. 52, p. 4 ; C. H. 
Wilkinson, " Elements of Galvanism," etc., London, '1804, 2 Vols. 
passim ; Wm. C. Wells, " Obs. on the Influence/' etc. (Phil. Trans., 
1795, Pt. XL p. 246) ; E. G. Robertson (An. de Ch., 1801, Vol. XXXVII. 

LI32; Jour, de Paris, 10, 15 and 17 Fructidor de 1'An. VIII); Paul 
uis Simon, " Beschreibung neuengalvanisch," etc., " Resultate," etc., 
and "Versuche," etc., all published in 1801 (L. W. Gilbert's Annalen, 
1801, Book V, An. de Chimie, No. 121, p. 106) ; L.W.Gilbert's Book VI of the 


Annalen, containing the " Memoirs on Galvanism," by J. L. Boeckmann, 
L. A. von Arnim, Paul Erman, M. Gruner and C. H. Pfaff; C. Dupuytren, 
" Faits Particuliers," etc., 1801; J. B. Trommsdorff, " Exper. Galv.," 
1801 ; M. Rouppe's letter of Aug. 28, 1801, in Van Mons' Jour, de Ch. t 
Vol. I. pp. 106, 108; M. Bichat (Sue, " Hist, du Galv.," II. p. 216); 
A. M. Vassalli-Eandi (Jour, de Phys., Frimaire, An. X. p. 476) ; C. F. 
Hellwag and M. Jacobi fils, " Erfahrungen," etc., 1802 ; M. le Comte de 
Pusckin's experiments on Galvanism, made Sept. and Dec. 1801, with a 
colonne tournante (Sue, "Hist, du Galv.," Vol. II. pp. 257, 258); Al. 
Volta, in Jour, de Leipzig, and in " Comment . . . Med. gestis," 1792; 
Johann Mayer, " Abh. . . . Galvani, Valli, Carminati u. Volta ..." 
Prag, 1793); Junoblowiskiana Society ("Comment . . . Med. gestis," 
1793) I " Imperial Dictionary of Universal Biography," Wm. McKenzie 
London, n. d., Vol. II. p. 546; M. Cortambert (" Mem . . . Soc. . . . 
d'Emul.," I. p. 232); M. Payss6 (" Jour, de la Soc. dcs Pharm.," first 
year, p. 100) ; Geo. Couvier (Jour, de Physique, Vol. VII. p. 318; " Mem. 
des Soc. Sav. et Lit.," Vol. I. p. 132), 1801 ; C. Mathieu (" Rec. de la 
Soc. d'Agr. . . . d' Autun," An. X. p. 21), 1802; Ponton d'Amcourt, 
" Expos6 du Galvanisme," Paris, 1803 ; Joseph Weber's works, published 
in 1802-1803, 1815, 1816, and those of J. K. F. Hauff, Marburg and 
Leipzig, 1803, 1804; M. Curtet (Jour, de Van Mons., No. VI. p. 272; 
Jour, de Physique, An. XL p. 54), 1803 ; William Meade (" On the origin 
and progress of Galvanism"), Dublin, 1805; J. C. Reil (Jour, de Van 
Mons., No. IV. p. 104; Sue, " Hist, du Galv.," Vol. IV. p. 26); J. A. 
Heidmann (Phil. Mag., Vol. XXVIII. p. 97), 1807; Sir Richard Phillips, 
" Electricity and Galvanism explained . . ." (Phil. Mag., Vol. LVI. 
p. 195), London, 1820; B. G. Sage, " Recherches . . . Galvanisme"; 
Leopold Nobili, " Sur le courant. . . ." Geneve, 1827. 

A.D. 1786. Hemmer (J. J.), celebrated physician and secretary 
of the Meteor. Society of Mannheim, gives, in the " Transactions of 
the Electoral Society," an account of what have been pronounced 
the most complete series of experiments ever made upon the elec- 
tricity of the human body. They absolutely show that the human 
subject possesses no species of electrical organs which are under the 
regulation of the will. Of his many observations, the following are 
worth recording : He found that the electricity of the body is 
common to all ages and sexes ; that its intensity and character often 
vary in the same body (in 2422 experiments, it was 1252 times 
positive, 771 times negative and 399 times imperceptible) ; that the 
electricity of the body is naturally positive, it being always so when 
subject to no violent exertion, and that when the body is subjected 
to sudden or violent motion the electricity becomes negative, the 
case also when the body experiences either cold or extreme 

REFERENCES. " Encycl. Brit.," Vol. VIII, 1855, p. 571 ; "Rheinische 
Beitragen zur Gelehrsamkeit " for 1781, Fifth Book, pp. 428-466; Van 
Swinden, " Recueil," etc., La Haye, 1784, Vols. I and II passim ; 
" Observ. sur la Phys.," July, 1780; Phil. Mag., 1799, Vol. V. pp. i, 140; 
" Comment. Acad. Theod.-Palat.," Vols. IV, V and VI of Phys. ; " M6m. 
de 1'Acad. de Mannheim," Vol. IV; " Pfalzbayr. Beitrage " for 1782. 

A.D. 1787. Lomond Lomont (Claude Jean-Baptiste), a 
very capable French machinist, and " one who has a genius for inven- 


lion," is the first to introduce a successful electric telegraph consisting 
of but one wire. Of this the following account appears under date 
Oct. 16, 1787, in Arthur Young's " Voyage Agronomique en France " 
(" Travels "), fourth edition, Vol. I. p. 79 : " You write two or three 
words on a paper ; he takes it with him into an adjoining room and 
turns a machine in a cylinder case, on the top of which is an electro- 
meter having a pretty little ball of pith of a quill suspended by a 
silk thread ; a brass wire connects it to a similar cylinder and electro- 
meter in a distant apartment, and his wife, on observing the move- 
ments of the corresponding ball, writes the words which it indicates. 
From this it appears that he (Lomond) has made an alphabet of 
motions. As the length of the brass wire makes no difference in 
the effect, you could correspond with it at a great distance, as, for 
example, with a besieged city or for objects of much more impor- 
tance. Whatever be the use that shall be made of it, the discovery 
is an admirable one/' 

REFERENCES. Ed. Highton, " Elec. Tel.," 1852, p. 38; Sabine, 
" Elec. Tel.," pp. lo-n ; Shaffner, "Manual," pp. 132, 133; Vail's 
" History," etc., p. 121 ; " Appleton's Encycl.," 1871, Vol. XV. p. 335. 

A.D. 1787. Brard (Cyprien Prosper), French mineralogist, 
first observes that some crystals of axinite (consisting mainly of 
silica, alumina, lime and peroxide of iron) become electric by 

REFERENCES. Gmelin, article " Elecricity," etc., Vol. I. p. 319; 
Larousse, " Diet. Univ.," Vol. II. p. 1205 ; Thomas, " Diet, of Biog.," 
Vol. I. p. 429; " Enc. Brit.," 8th ed., Vol. VIII. p. 530; Brard, " Manuel 
du Mineralogiste," etc., Bordeaux Academy of Sciences Report for 
1829, p. 39, and for 1838, p. 84 the latter containing M. Hatchett's 
observations on one of M. Brard's meteorolites. 

A.D. 1787. Haiiy (Le Pere Rene Just), native of Picardie 
and member of the Acad6mie Royale des Sciences, publishes an 
abridgment of the doctrines of ^pinus (at A.D. 1759) under the 
title of " Exposition raisonnee de la Th6orie de TElectricite et du 
Magnetisme." He was doubtless the first to observe that in all 
minerals the pyro-electric state has an important connection with 
the want of symmetry of the crystals, and no proof of the extent 
to which he directed his investigations in that line can more readily 
be had than by consulting general " Encyclopaedia " articles relative 
to the pyro-electricity of boracite (borate of magnesia), of prehnite 
(silica, alumina and lime), of mesotype (hydrated silicate of alumina 
and of lime or of soda), of sphene (silica, titanic acid and lime), 
calamine (silicate of zinc) and of Siberian topaz. 

At pp. 480, 481 of his " Outline of the Sciences/' etc., London, 
1830, Dr. Thomas Thomson states : 

" There is a hill of sulphate of lime, called Kalkberg, situated near 


Lunebourg, in the duchy of Brunswick, in which small cubic crystals 
are found. These cubes are white, have a specific gravity of 2*566, 
and are composed of two atoms of boracic acid combined with one 
atom of magnesia. They are distinguished among mineralogists 
by the name of boracite. If we examine the cubic crystals of boracite, 
we shall find that only four of the solid angles are complete, consti- 
tuting alternate angles placed at the extremity of two opposite 
diagonals at the upper and lower surface of the cube. The other 
four solid angles are replaced by small equilateral triangles. When 
the boracite is heated all the perfect solid angles become charged 
with negative electricity, while all the angles replaced by equilateral 
triangles become charged with positive electricity. So that the bora- 
cite has eight poles : four positive and four negative. Those are 
obviously the extremities of four diagonals connecting the solid 
angles with each other. One extremity of each of these diagonals 
is charged with positive and the other extremity with negative 
electricity. In general, the electricity of boracite is not so strong 
as that of the tourmaline." This curious law of the excitability of 
the boracite and of its eight poles was discovered by Haiiy in 1791 
(Haiiy's " Mineralogie," 260, second edition). 

Axinite, mesotype, and the silicate of zinc are also minerals 
which become electric when heated, and which, like the tourmaline, 
exhibit two opposite poles, the one positive, the other negative. It 
is not every crystal of axinite and mesotype which possesses this 
property, but such only as are unsymmetrical, that is to say, such 
as have extremities of different shapes. No doubt this remark 
applies also to the silicate of zinc ; though as the crystals of that 
mineral are usually acicular it is not so easy to determine by 
observation the degree of symmetry which they may possess. 

The topaz, prehnite, and the titaniferous mineral called sphene 
are also capable of being excited by heat, and have two opposite 
poles like those already mentioned. 

Haiiy also made the most extensive and accurate observations 
known upon the development of electricity in minerals by friction. 
Detailed lists of the different classes of minerals, as well as the 
conclusions arrived at through various experiments, are given in 
the " Encyclopedia Britannica," Vol. VIII, 1855, pp. 538, 539, 
while at pp. 529 and 558 of the same work are to be found accounts 
of his observations on the electricity of the tourmaline, as well as a 
description of the different electroscopes employed in his many 

REFERENCES. Priestley, " History of Electricity," 1767, pp. 314- 
326; Gmelin's " Chemistry," Vol. I. p. 319; Noad, " Manual," pp. 27-31 ; 
also article " Electricity " in " Library Useful Knowledge," pp. 3, 


54, 56; M. Lister, "Collection Acade"mique," Tome VI; " Socie'te* 
Philomathique," An. V. p. 34; An. XII. p. 191; " Me"m. du Museum 
d'Hist. Nat.," Vol. Ill ; " Mem. de Flnstitut," An. IV. tome i., " Sciences 
Math, et Phys." p. 49; "Mem. dc rAcade"mie," 1785, Mem. p. 206; 
Philosophical Magazine, Vols. XX. p. 120; XXXVIII. p. 81 ; Thomas 
Thomson, " Hist, of the Roy. Soc.," London, 1812, pp. 180, etc. ; Young's 
" Lectures," London, 1807, Vol. II ; Haiiy, " Traite" Elementaire de Phy- 
sique," Chap VII, " Magnetism " ; Experiments of J. L. Trem6ry (author 
of " Observations sur les Aimants Elliptiqucs," recorded in Journal des 
Mines, Vol. VI for 1797, also in Jour, de Phys., Vols. XLVIII and 
LIV) and of M. De Nelis, some of whose observations are given in the 
Phil. Mag., Vol. XLVIII. p. 127, and in the Jour, de Phys., Vols. LXI. 
p. 45; LXII. p. 150; LXIII. p. 147; LXIV. p. 130; LXVI. pp. 336, 456, 
as shown and illustrated at pp. 153-162 of Delaunay's " Manuel," etc., 
of 1809; " Stances de 1'Acad. de Bordeaux " for 1835, giving M. Vallot's 
report on the difference existing between the chalcedony and the tour- 
maline. Regarding the latter, consult S. Rinmann (" K. Schwed. Akad. 
Abh.," XXVIII. pp. 46, 114); C. Rammelsberg, " Die Zuzam . . . und 
P'eldspaths " ; Mr. Magellan's edition of Cronstedt's Mineralogy for 
Steigliz's tourmaline ; Cesare G. Pozzi, on the tourmaline ; H. Von Meyer 
(" Archiv. . . . Ges. Natural," XIV. 3, p. 342); M. Lechman (Berlin 
Academy Reports); Carl Von Linn6 (Linnaeus), "Flora Zeylanica," 
Stockholm, 1747; M. Leymerie (Toulouse Acad. Reports); Brewster, 
"Journal" I. p. 208; J. K. Wilcke (" Vetensk. Akad. Handl.," 1766 
and 1768); Jos. Muller, " Schreiben . . . Tourmaline," Wien, 1773; 
F. J. Muller von Reichenstein, " Nachr. ... an Born," Wien, 1778; 
H. B. de Saussure (" Jour, de Paris "), 1784; Louis Delaunay's letter on 
the tourmaline, 1782; D. G. Fischer's works, published at Mosk, 1813, 
1818; J. D. Forbes (" Edin. Trans.," Vol. XIII), 1834. 

A.D. 1787. Charles (Jacques Alexandra Cesar), a singularly 
able French physicist and experimentalist, who became the Secretary 
of the Academic des Sciences, relates many of his electrical experi- 
ments in the thirtieth volume of the Journal de Physique. 

He was one of the first to study and develop the theories of 
Franklin, who, in company with Volta, frequently attended the 
brilliant lectures which Charles was enabled to give in what was 
then considered the most complete philosophical laboratory of 
Europe. In many of his experiments on atmospherical electricity, 
Charles has been known to produce thousands of sparks, beams or 
flashes, which exceeded 12 feet in length and which made reports 
similar to those of fire-arms. The French Academy endorsed the 
opinion given the Minister of War by Charles to the effect that " a 
conductor will effectually protect a circular space whose radius is 
twice the length of the rod." 

Charles invented the megascope and was the first to make an 
ascension in a hydrogen balloon, which he did in company with M. 
Robert on the ist of December (not on the 2nd of August) 1783, 
ten days after the first trip made by Pilatre de Rozier and Comte 
d'Arlandes in a Montgolfidre from the Paris Bois de Boulogne. 

REFERENCES. " Biographic Gen&rale," Vol. IX. pp. 929-933 ; La- 
rousse, " Diet. Univ.," Vol. HI. p, 1020; Journal de Physique for 1791, 
p. 63; " M6moires de 1'Acad. des Sciences " for 1828; George Adams, 


" Lectures on Nat. and Exp. Philosophy," London, 1799, Vol. III. 
pp. 462-464; Edin. EncycL, 1813, article " Aeronautics," Vol. T. p. 160, 
" Franklin in France," 1888, Part II. pp. 256, 270, 276-280; M. Veau 
Delaunay, Introduction to his " Manuel," etc., Paris, 1809, pp. 19, 25 
and 61-63 ; also pp. 23, 68, 92, 96, 122, 176 and 214. 

A.D. 1787. Mann (Theodore Augustin), Abbe, Flemish writer 
and antiquary, becomes perpetual secretary of the Brussels Academy 
of Sciences ten years after leaving the Nieuport Monastery (1777), 
and is charged with the duty of making meteorological observations, 
which are regularly transmitted to the Mannheim Academy officials, 
who receive similar reports regularly from different parts of Europe 
and publish them under the title of " Ephemerides Meteorologiques." 

His many investigations made with electrical machines are 
embraced in the last-named publication and are also alluded to in 
his " Marees Aeriennes/' etc., which appeared in Brussels during 
the year 1792. 

REFERENCES. " Biog. Generate," Tome XXXIII. p. 231 ; Larousse, 
" Diet. Universe!," Tome X. p. 1085 ; Phil. Mag., Vol. IV. p. 337 ; " Comm. 
Ac. Thcod. Pal.," 1790, Vol. VI. p. 82. 

A.D. 1787. Bennct (Rev. Abraham), F.R.S., first describes in 
the Philosophical Transactions for this year, pp. 26-32, the gold- 
leaf electroscope which bears his name and which is considered 
the most sensitive and the most important of all known instruments 
for detecting the presence of electricity. It consists of a glass 
cylinder which is covered with a projecting brass cap, made flat 
in order to receive upon it whatever article or substance is to be 
electrified, and having an opening for the insertion of wires and of a 
metallic point to collect the electricity of the atmosphere. The 
interior of the cap holds a tube which carries two strips of gold leaf 
in lieu of the customary wires or threads, and upon two opposite 
sides of the interior of the cylinder are pasted two pieces of tin- 
foil directly facing the gold-leaf strips. The cap is turned around 
until the strips hang parallel to the pieces of tinfoil, so that any 
electricity present will cause the strips to diverge and make them 
strike the tinfoil, which will carry the electricity through the 
support of the cylinder to the ground. 

This electroscope, says Wilkinson, possesses great sensibility, 
and through the movable coatings introduced by Mr. Pepys, very 
small portions of electricity are discernible. Another very excellent 
electroscope is formed with either extremely fine silver thread, pre- 
pared after the manner of Mr. Read, or with the minutest thread 
found in a bundle of very fine flax, having a little isinglass glue 
applied gently over it with the finger and thumb. 

Of the numerous observations made by Bennet, the following 
interesting extract relative to the phenomenon of evaporation is 


taken from the Philosophical Transactions for the year 1787. " If 
a metal cup with a red hot coal in it be placed upon the cap of a 
gold leaf electroscope, a spoonful of water thrown in electrifies the 
cup resinously ; and if a bent wire be placed in the cup with a piece 
of paper fastened to it to increase its surface, the vitreous electricity 
of the ascending column of vapour may be seen by introducing the 
paper into it. The experiments on the evaporation of water may 
be tried with more ease and certainty of success by heating the 
small end of a tobacco pipe and pouring water into the head, which, 
running down to the heated part, is suddenly expanded, and will 
show its electricity when projected upon the cap of the electrometer 
more sensibly than any other way that I have tried. If the pipe 
be fixed in a cloven stick and placed in the cup of one electrometer 
while the steam is projected upon another, it produces both elec- 
tricities at once." 

Some of Mr. Bennet's experiments with the electroscope on the 
electricity of sifted powders, upon the electricity of the atmosphere, 
etc., are recorded at pp. 564 and 566 of the " Britannica," Vol. 
VIII, and at p. 56 of " Library of Useful Knowledge/' 

Mr. Bennet also invented the electrical doubter, designed to 
increase small quantities of electricity by continually doubling 
them until visible in sparks or until the common electrometer 
indicates their presence and quality (Phil. Trans, for 1787, p. 288). 
It consists of three plates of brass, illustrated and explained at 
Fig* 9> P- 20 > Vol. I of Prescott's " Electricity and the Electric 
Telegraph," 1885 edition, wherein it is stated that in forty seconds 
the electricity can thus, by continual duplication, be augmented 
five hundred thousand times. (See, for doublers, C. B. De'sormes 
and J. N. P. Hachette, in Annales de Chimie, Vol. XLIX for 1804; 
J. Read (Phil. Trans, for 1794, p. 266) ; Sir Francis Ronalds (Edin. 
" Phil. Journal," Vol. IX. pp. 323-325).) 

At p. 105 of his " Rudim. Magnetism," Snow Harris mentions 
the fact that, in some of his experiments, Mr. Bennet employed a 
magnetic needle suspended by filaments of a spider's web as a 
magnetometer. In this connection, it may be said that, in the 
Philosophical Transactions for 1792, the assertion is made that a 
fine and weakly magnetic steel wire suspended from a spider's 
thread of three inches in length will admit of being twisted around 
eighteen thousand times and yet continue to point accurately in 
the meridian, so little is the thread sensible of torsion (Young's 
" Course of Lectures," 1807, Vol. II. p. 445). The use of the spider's 
line had, during the year 1775, been recommended as a substitute 
for wires by Gregorio Fontana, who, it is said, obtained threads 
as fine as the eight-thousandth part of a line. In a lecture delivered 


at Boston, Mass., during the year 1884, Prof. Wood alluded to 
spiders' threads estimated to be one two-millionths of a hair in 

REFERENCES. Bennet, " New Experiments on Electricity," etc., 
Derby, 1789, and " A New Suspension of the Magnetic Needle," etc., 
London, 1792; Introduction to " Electrical Researches," by Lord Henry 
Cavendish; Sc. Am. Supplement, No. 647, pp. 10, 327; Noad, " Manual, 
p. 27; Cavallo, " Nat. Phil.," 1825, Vol. II. pp. 199, 216; Phil. Trans., 
Vol. LXXVII. pp. 26-31, 32-34, 288-296; also the abridgments by 
Hutton, Vol. XVI. pp. 173, 176, 282 and Vol. XVII. p. 142 ; Sc. American, 
Vol. LI. p. 19; Annales de Chimie, Vol. XLIX. p. 45; Ezekiel Walker, 
Phil Mag. for 1813, Vol. XLI. p. 415 and Vol. XLII. pp. 161, 215, 
217, 371, 476, 485; also Vol. XL1II. p. 364. 

A.D. 1788. Barth&emy (Jean Jacques), who, after completing 
his studies in a French seminary of Jesuits, succeeded Gros de Boze 
as keeper of the king's cabinet of medals, publishes in four volumes, 
at Paris, the first edition of his " Voyage du Jeune Aria char sis." 
In this well-known work, begun by him in 1757, and translated 
into English under the title " Travels of Anacharsis the Younger 
in Greece/ 7 Barthelemy alludes to the possibility of telegraphing 
by means of clocks (pendules, not horloges), having hands similarly 
magnetized in conjunction with artificial magnets. These were 
" presumed to be so far improved that they could convey their 
directive power to a distance, thus, by the sympathetic movements 
of the hands or needles in connection with a dial alphabet, com- 
munications between distant friends could be carried on." 
Writing to Mme. du Deffand in 1772, he observes : 
" It is said that with two timepieces the hands of which are 
magnetic, it is enough to move one of these hands to make the 
other take the same direction, so that by causing one to strike 
twelve the other will strike the same hour. Let us suppose that 
artificial magnets were improved to the point that their virtue 
could communicate itself from here to Paris ; you have one of these 
timepieces, we another of them ; instead of hours we find the letters 
of the alphabet on the dial. Every day at a certain hour we turn 
the hand, and M. Wiard [Mme. du Deffand's secretary] puts to- 
gether the letters and reads. . . . This idea pleases me immensely. 
It would soon be corrupted by applying it to spying in armies and 
in politics, but it would be very agreeable in commerce and in 

REFERENCES. " Correspondance ine"dite de Mad. Du Deffand," Vol. 
II. p. 99; letter of J. MacGregor in Journal Society of Arts, May 20, 
1859, pp. 472, 473- 

A.D. 1789. Adriaan Paets Van Troostwyk and Jean Rodolphe 
Deimann, Dutch chemists, associated for the purpose of scientific 
research, complete the experiments of Lord Cavendish and announce, 


in the Journal de Physique, their discovery of the decomposition of 
water through the electric spark, which latter is conveyed by means 
of very fine gold wires. As is now well known, water is by this 
means resolved into its two elements of oxygen and hydrogen, both 
of which assume their gaseous form. 

The electric machine they employed was a very powerful double- 
plate one, of the Teylerian mode of construction, causing the Leyden 
jar to discharge itself twenty-five times in fifteen revolutions. 

REFERENCES. " Mem. de la Soc. de Phys. Exp. Rotterdam," Tome 
VIII; Journal de Physique, Vol. XXXIII; Noad, "Manual," p. 161 ; 
" Encyl. Brit.," Vol. VIII, 1855, pp. 530, 565; " Biog. Univcrselle," 
Vol. X. p. 282 ; De La Rive, " Electricity," Vol. II. p. 443 ; Wm. Henry, 
" Elements of Experimental Chemistry," London, 1823, Vol. I. pp. 251, 
252; Delaunay's "Manuel," etc., 1809, pp. 180-183; " Verhandl. van 
hct Gcnootsch te Rotterdam" ("Mem. de la Soc. de Phys. Exp. de 
Rotterdam") Vol. VIII; Poggenclorff, Vol. I. p. 1555; Dove, p. 243; 
G. Carradori (Brugnatclli's Annali di chimica, Vol. I. p. i) ; John 
Cuthbertson, " Beschreibung eincr Elekt. . . ." Leipzig, 1790. 

A.D. 1790. Reveroni Saint-Cyr (Jacques Antoine, Baron de), 
French Colonel and author, best known by his very interesting work, 
" Mecanismes de la Guerre," proposes an electric telegraph for 
the purpose of announcing the drawings of lottery numbers ; no 
satisfactory information as to its construction, however, appears 

REFERENCES. Fahie, " History," etc., London, 1884, p. 96; Etenaud, 
" La Telegraphic Electrique," 1872, Vol. 1. p. 27; Sc. Am. Supp., No. 
384, pp. 6, 126. 

A.D. 1790. Mr. Downie, master of his Majesty's ship " Glory," 
makes a report on local attraction wherein he observes " that in all 
latitudes, at any distance from the magnetic equator, the upper 
ends of iron bolts acquire an opposite polarity to that of the latitude,' 1 
an observation, Harris remarks, which accords with Marcel's 
experiment (at A.D. 1702). 

" I am convinced," says Mr. Downie, " that the quantity and 
vicinity of irqn, in most ships, has an effect in attracting the needle ; 
for it is found by experience that the needle will not always point 
in the same direction when placed in different parts of a ship ; also, 
it is very easily found that two ships, steering the same course by 
their respective compasses, will not go exactly parallel to each 
other ; yet when their compasses are on board the same ship they 
will agree exactly." 

REFERENCES. William Walker, " The Magnetism of Ships," London, 
1853, p. 20; J. Farrar, " Elements," p. 376; Harris, " Rudim. Magn.," 
1852, Part III. p. 161. 


A.D. 1790. Tralles (Johann Georg), a German scientist, is the 
first to make known the negative electricity of cascades. This he 
communicates through his " Uber d. Elektricitat d. Staubbachs," 
published at Leipzig. 

In the Report on Atmospheric Electricity of Francis J. F. Duprez, 
translated from the Memoirs of the Royal Academy of Brussels by 
Dr. L. D. Gale, we read that one day while in the Alps, opposite 
the cascade of Staubbach, near Lauterbrunnen, Tralles " pre- 
sented his atmospheric electrometer, not armed with the metallic 
wire, to the fine spray which resulted from the dispersion of the 
water. He immediately obtained very distinct signs of negative 
electricity. The same effect was exhibited at the cascade of 
Reichenbach. Volta, a short time after, verified the correctness 
of this observation, not only above the great cascades, but also 
wherever a fall of water existed, however small, provided the 
intervention of the wind caused the dispersion of the drops. The 
electricity always appeared to him, as it did to Tralles, negative. 
Schiibler repeated the same experiments in his journey to the 
Alps in 1813. He observed farther, that this negative electricity 
was very strong, since it became perceptible at a distance of 300 
feet from the cascade of Reichenbach; and at a distance of 100 
feet his electrometer indicated 400 and even 500 degrees. . . . 
Tralles attributed it at first to the friction of the minute drops of 
water against the air ; but soon after he thought, with Volta, that 
the cause was to be found in the evaporation which the same minute 
drops experience in falling. ..." 

The Italian physicist, Giuseppe Belli, who published at Milan, 
during 1836, " Sulla Elettricita negativa delle cascate," entertains 
an opinion contrary to that advanced by M. Becquerel, and believes 
" that the electrical phenomenon of the water of cascades is owing 
to the development of electricity by the induction which the positive 
electricity of the atmosphere exercises on the water. The water, 
he says, is by induction in the negative state, when the atmosphere 
is, as it is ordinarily, charged with positive electricity. At the 
moment when this water divides into thousands of minute drops, 
it cannot fail to carry the electricity with which the electrical 
induction of the atmosphere has impregnated it to all bodies which 
it meets." 

REFERENCES. " GEuvres cle Volta," Vol. II. p. 239; Franz Samuel 
Wilde, "Experiences sur r<Hectricit6 dcs cascades" (" Memoir es de 
Laxisanne," Vol. Ill, " Histoirc," p. 13, 1790) ; " Bibliographie Univer- 
selle," N. S., 1836, Vol. VI. p. 148'; Houzeau et Lancaster, " Bibl. 

Chemie, Vol. XXVIII for 1808; F. A. C. Gren's Journal der Physik, 


Vol. I. for 1790; Humboldt, "Cosmos," London, 1849, Vol. I. p. 344, 
and the reference to Gay-Lussac in Ann. de chimie el de physique, Vol. 
VIII. p. 167. 

A.D. 1790. Eandi (Giuseppe Antonio Francesco Geronimo), an 
able physicist, native of Saluces (1735-1799), reads, May 10, 
before the Academy of Sciences of Turin, a Memoir upon Electricity 
in vacuo which is printed in the Collections of that Institution. He 
studied for the priesthood and entered the Normal College of Turin, 
where he followed protracted courses of literature under Bartoli 
and of natural philosophy under Beccaria, becoming the assistant 
of the latter, whom he finally replaced from 1776 to 1781. He 
afterward became Professor of Natural Philosophy at the College 
of Fine Arts, where he gave particular attention to electrical studies, 
and published several papers on that science, as well as upon natural 
philosophy generally. 

He bequeathed all his possessions to his nephew Vassalli, upon 
condition of the lattcr's taking the name of Eandi. 

Besides the above, he wrote : " Memorie istorische," etc., or 
" Historical Memoir upon the Studies of Father Beccaria," Turin, 
*7&3> which is dedicated to Count Balbi and gives the new theories 
of electricity, also an " Essay upon the Errors of Several Physicists 
in Regard to Electricity," Turin, 1788. 

REFERENCES. " Notice sur la vie. . . . d' Eandi par Vassalli- 
Kandi," Turin, 1804 ; " Biographic Gcnerale," Vol. XV. p. 589; Larousse, 
" Diet. Universcl," Vol. VII. p. 5 ; the Turin Academy Memoirs for the 
years 1802-1804; Eandi e Vassalli-Eandi, " Physicae Expcrimcntalis," 
etc., Turin, 1793-1794. 

A.D. 1790. Vassalli-Eandi (Antonio Maria), Italian savant 
(1761-1825), nephew of G. A. F. G. Eandi, who was, like his uncle, 
a pupil of Beccaria, publishes his views concerning the electricity 
of bodies and regarding other investigations, as well as a report 
upon experiments relative to the electricity of water and of ice, 
which appear respectively in L. V. Brugnatelli's Annali di Chimica, 
Vol. I. p. 53, in the " Bibl. Fis. d'Europa," Vol. XVII. p. 144, and 
in the third volume of " Mem. della Soc. Italiana." 

He was one of the most prolific of Italian writers, his more 
important essays, which number 160, being written in Italian, 
Latin and French, and covering almost every leading branch of 
physical science. One of his biographers tells us, // a embrasse, 
pour ainsi dire, V ensemble des connaissances humaines, and that he 
is one of whom his country may justly be proud. 

In his investigations concerning aerolites, which appeared in 
1786 (" Memoria . . . sopra . . . bolidi in generale "), he explains 


the movements of those bodies much more satisfactorily than had 
previously been done by any scientist. Essays published by him 
duiing the same year, as well as in 1789 and 1791, treat of the 
effect of electricity upon vegetables ; then follow his papers relative 
to Bertholon's " Electricite des Metores," to Haiiy's theories and 
to the meteorological observations of Senebier, De Saussure, Toaldo 
and Monge, up to 1792, when Vassalli was made Professor of Natural 
Philosophy at the Turin University. He had also in the meantime 
carefully looked into the scientific knowledge possessed by the 
ancients, and was led to believe, as shown in his " Conghietture 
sopra 1'arte," etc., that they had the means of attracting and 
directing thunder and lightning. The latter fact has been alluded 
to in this " Bibliographical History/' under the B.C. 600 entry. 
(See J. Bouillet, " De 1'etat des connaissances," etc., Saint Etienne, 

He was after this made perpetual secretary of the Royal Academy 
of Sciences of Turin, then became Director of the Museum of Natural 
History, as well as of the Observatory situated in the last-named 
city, which position he held at the time of his death. 

His other essays treat more particularly of animal electricity, 
the electricity of fishes, the effects of electricity upon recently 
decapitated bodies, the application of electricity and of galvanism 
to medicine, and cover very extended observations on meteorology. 
He was the editor of both the " Memoirs of the Academy of Sciences 
of Turin, from 1792 to 1809," and of the " Annals of the Turin 
Observatory, from 1809 to 1818 " (Larousse, " Dictionnairc Uni- 
verscl," Vol. XV. p. 801) ; was likewise editor of the " Bibliotheque 
Italienne," in conjunction with Giulio Gioberti and Francesco 
Rossi, and is said to have devised an electrometer superior to 
that of Volta. 

REFERENCES. Vassalli-Eandi, Giulio (or Julio) c Rossi, " Rapport 
pr6sente," etc., Turin, 1802, or " Transunto del Rapporto," etc., 
Milano, 1803 (" Opusc. Scelti," Vol. XXII. p. 51), translated into 
English, London, 1803 (Phil. Mag., Vol. XV. p. 38); also Vassalli- 
Eandi, F. Rossi et V. Michelotti, " Precis de nouvclles experiences 
galvaniques," Turin, 1809 (" Mem. de Turin," Annees, 1805-1808, 
p. 160). See likewise, S. Berrutti, " Elogio," etc., 1839; " Saggio sulla 
vita . . . Vassalli-Eandi," Torino, 1825; " Notizie biografiche . . . Vas- 
salli Eandi " (" Mem. di Torino," Vol. XXX. p. 19); " Elogio, scritto 
dal Berrutti " (" Mem. of the Ital. Soc.," Vol. XXII. p. liv) ; Phil. Mag., 
Vol. XV. p. 319; Journal de Physique, An. VII. p. 336 and Vols. XLIX, 
L; "Ital. Soc. Mem.," Vols. VIII. p. 516; X. p. 802; XIII. p. 85; 
XVII. p. 230; XIX. p. 347; "Memoiresde Turin," Vols. X-XIII ; 
" Mem. dell 1 Acad. di Torino," Vols. VI, X, XXII, XXIV, XXVI, 
XXVII, XXIX; " Mem. della Soc. Agrar. di Torino," Vol. I ; " Opuscoli 
Scelti," Vols. XIX. pp. 215, etc. ; XXII. p. 76; " Nuova Scelta d* Opus- 
coli," Vol. I. p. 167; " Opuscoli Scelti di Milano," quarto, Vol. XIV; 
"Mem. Soc. Ital.," Vols. IV. p. 263; X. p. 733; " Biblioteca Oltra- 
montana "; Brugnatelli's Annali di Chimica ; " Giornale Scientifico . . . 


di Torino," Vols. I, III; " Giornale Fis. Med.," Vol. II. p. no; " Bib- 
lioteca Italiana " " Bibliotheque Italienne," Vols. I. p. 128; II. p. 25; 
" Recucil peYiodique . . . de Se"dillot," Vol. II. p. 266. 

A.D. 1790-1800. Morozzo Morotius (Carlo Luigi, Comte de), 
Italian savant, who studied mathematics under Lagrange, and was 
President of the Turin Academy of Sciences, publishes numerous 
scientific memoirs in French through the reports of the last-named 
institution, in one of which he is said to have described an experiment 
suggesting the electro-magnet. 

REFERENCES. Biography in Larousse, " Dictionnairc Universel," 
Tome XL p. 577, and in the " Biographic Generalc," Tome XXXVI. 
p. 643. 

A.D. 1791. Leslie (Sir John), an able English scientist (April 
1766-Nov. 1832), who, upon the death of Prof. John Playfair, 
was called to the Chair of Natural Philosophy in the University of 
Edinburgh, writes a very interesting paper entitled " Observations 
on Electric Theories," which is read the following year at the 
meeting of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and is published at the 
latter place during 1824. 

According to Carnevale Antonio Arclla, " Storia deir Elettricita," 
Alessandria, 1839, Vol. I. p. 130, Sir John Leslie is the author of 
quite an interesting treatise on the inefficacy of lightning conductors, 
and the " English Cyclopaedia " (Biography), Vol. III. p. 866, gives 
a list of many of the numerous contributions he made to the leading 
publications of his day, more particularly in the " Edinburgh Philos. 
Transactions," the " Encyclopaedia Britannica," the " Edinburgh 
Review," and " Nicholson's Philos. Journal." The reviewer adds, 
what will surprise many readers, that, although some papers by 
Sir John Leslie treating of physical subjects were also read before 
the Royal Society of London, none were ever printed in their 
" Philos. Transactions.'' 

Professor John Playfair above alluded to (1748-1819), became, 
during 1785, Joint Professor of Mathematics with Dr. Adam Ferguson 
in the University of Edinburgh and, in 1805, exchanged this for 
the Professorship of Natural Philosophy in the same university. 

REFERENCES. Macvey Napier, " Memoir of Sir John Leslie," 1838, 
which appeared in seventh edition of " Kncycl. Britan.," Vol. XIII; 
" Engl. Cycl." (Biography) ; Rose, " New Gen. Biogr." ; Hcefer, " Nouv. 
Biogr. Gen.," Paris, 1862, Vol. XXX. pp. 949-^52 (giving full account 
of his works) ; " Encycl. Britan.," ninth edition, Edinburgh, 1882, 
Vol. XIV. pp. 476-477, Sidney Lee, " Diet. Nat. Biogr.," Vol. XXXIII. 

B3. 105-107 and Vol. XLVIII. pp. 413-414; Pierre Larousse, "Grand 
ict. Univ.," Vol. X. pp. 406-407; "Caledonian Mercury," article of 
Prof. Napier summarized in the " Gentleman's Magazine " for 1833, 
Vol. I. pp. 85-86. Consult also A.D. 1751 at Adanson; " Dove," p. 256; 
Philosophical Magazine, Vols. XL and XLII. 


A.D. 1791. At p. 353, Chap. Ill of the first volume of Gmelin's 
" Handbook of Chemistry/' it is stated that during 1791 James 
Keir (Kier) first showed, by immersing iron in a solution of nitrate 
of silver or fuming nitric acid, that many metals can be made to 
pass from their ordinary active state into a passive or electro-negative 
state and lose either wholly or in part their tendency to decompose 
acids and metallic oxides. 

At pp. 167-170, Sixth Memoir, of Wm. Sturgeon's " Scientific 
Researches " (Bury, 1850), treating of the application of electro- 
chemistry to the dissolution of simple metals in fluids, reference 
is made to the long line of investigations carried on by both Bergman 
and Keir, the last named having demonstrated that iron " acquires 
that altered state by the action of nitric acid which Sir John Herschel 
met with in his experiments, and has called prepared state, and 
that Schonbein and others call the peculiar or the inactive state " 
(Noad's " Manual of Electricity," London, 1859, p. 534). The 
iron which is active in nitric acid was called by Keir " fresh iron/' 
while that which became inactive he designated as " altered iron " 
(Sturgeon's " Annals of Electricity," Vol. V. p. 439). 

Some remarkable phenomena in the display of which but one 
individual piece of metal is used, as first shown by Keir, remain, 
Sturgeon says, " without even an attempt at explanation by any 
of the philosophers under whose notice they have appeared." Sir 
John Herschel pronounces them as of an " extraordinary character " ; 
Prof. Andrews, after giving some very satisfactory explanations 
of several phenomena, acknowledges that he " can offer no explana- 
tion of most of the particular facts which have been described," 
and Professor Schoenbein " has not made public any conclusive 
explanation of them whatever " (Phil. Mag. for October 1837, 
p. 333, and for April 1838, p. 311). 

This same James Keir, called by Watt " a mighty chemist " 
(1735-1820), has strangely by some been confounded with Robert 
Kerr, also a Scotchman, who was an able scientific writer and lived 
at about the same period (1755-1813). Kerr made valuable trans- 
lations from Lavoisier and Linnaeus which, during 1805, won for 
him a fellowship in the Edinburgh Royal Society. (Consult Sidney 
Lee, " Diet, of Nat. Biogr.," London, 1892, Vol. XXI. p. 64, also 
the references therein given ; and the article " Faraday " in the 
" Encycl. Britan.," ninth edition, Edinburgh, 1879, Vol. IX. p. 30.) 

REFERENCES. Mrs. Amelia Moillet, " Sketch of the Life of James 
Keir," 1859; Sidney Lee, "Diet, of Nat. Biog.," London, 1892, Vol. 
XXX. pp. 313-314; Annales de Chimie for October 1837; Phil. Trans. 
for 1790, p. 353, as well as Hutton's abridgment of the same, Vol. XVI. 
p. 694; Sturgeon's "Annals of Electricity,' 1 Vol. V. p. 427; Gmelin's 
Chemistry, pp. 367, 370. * 


A.D. 1791. Shaw (George), English naturalist, who became a 
Fellow of the Royal Society during the year 1789, communicates 
to the latter body a paper on the Scolopendm electrica and Scolo- 
pendra subterranea (" Linn. Soc. Trans.," I. pp. 103-111). This 
was afterward translated into Italian and appeared in Vol. IX. 
p. 26, of Brugnatelli's Annali di Chimica. Mr. James Wilson, 
F.R.S.E., in his " Encycl. Brit." article on Myriapoda, alludes to 
the Scolopendra electrica as figured by Frisch and described by 
Geoffroy in his " Histoire des Insectes," Vol. II. p. 676, n. 5. Shaw 
also treats of the Trichiurus Indicm, which Sir David Brewster 
believes to be the same as the trichiurus electricm, known to inhabit 
the Indian Seas and to have the power of giving electric shocks. 

Five years before the above date (1786), the Phil. Trans, con- 
tained (p. 382) the description of the tetraodon electricus, which 
Lieutenant William Paterson discovered in the cavities of the coral 
rocks of one of the Canary Islands and which he found to possess 
the properties of other electrical fishes. (See Mutton's abridgments, 
Vol. XVI. p. 134.) 

REFERENCES. " Biographic Generate," Vol. XLI1I. p. 922 ; " Gentle- 
man's Magazine," Vol. LXXXIII; Poggendorff, Vol. II. p. 918; " Cat. 
Royal Society Sc. Papers," Vol. V. p. 674; Dr. Thomas Young, " Course 
of Lectures," London, 1807, Vol. II. p. 436, for the Trichiurus Indicus . . . 

Having thus far called attention to the most important varieties 
of the electrical fishes, notably at the articles Adanson (A.D. 1751), 
Bancroft (A.D. 1769), Walsh, also Hunter (A.D. 1773), the following 
original list of additional references will prove interesting : 

Raia Torpedo. Stephani Lorcnzini, " Osservazioni . . ." Firenze, 
1678; R. A. F. de Reaumur, " Des Effets . . ." Paris, 1714; Temple- 
man, in " Nouvelliste," 1759 ; Ingen-housz (Phil. Trans., 1775) ; Cavendish 
(Phil. Trans., 1776, Vol. LXI. p. 584, Vol. LXVI. p. 196, also Button's 
abridgments, Vol. II. p. 485; Vol. XIII. p. 223; Vol. XIV. p. 23); 
F. Soavc ("Scelta di Opuscoli," Vol. XV), Milano, 1776; J. A. Garn, 
" De Torpcdine . . ." Witteb., 1778; R. M. de Termeyer (Raccolta 
Fcrr. cli Op. Sc. . . . Vol. VIII), Venice, 1781; L. Spallanzani (" Goth. 
Mag.," V. i. 41; " Opusc. Scelti," VI. 73), Milano, 1783; Girardi and 
Waller (" Mem. Soc. Ital.," III. 553), Verona, 1786; W. Bryant (" Tr. 
Amer. Phil. Soc.," II. 166, O. S.), Philad., 1786; J. W. Linck, " De 
Raja Torpedine," Lips., 1788; Vassalli-Eandi (Journal de Physique, 
Vol. XLIX. p. 69); Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (" Annal. du Mus.," An. 
XL Vol. L, No. 5, and Phil. Mag., Vol. XV. p. 126), 1803; J. F. M. 
Offers, " Die Gattung Torpedo ..." Berlin, 1831 ; Linari-Santi in 
" Bibl. Univ.," Ser. II., Geneva, 1837-1838, and in " Bibl. Ital.," Vol. 
XCII. p. 258, Milan, 1839; C. Matteucci, " Recherches . . ." Geneve, 
1837 ("Royal Soc. Catalogue of Sc. Papers," Vol. IV. pp. 285-293); 
also Delle Chiaje, " On the Organs . . . and P. Savi, " Etudes ..." 
Paris, 1844; G. Pianciani (" Mem. Soc. Ital.," XXII. 7); F. Zantedeschi 
(" Bull. Acad. Brux.," VIII. 1841) ; A. Fusinieri ("Ann. del Reg. Lomb.- 
Veneto," VIII. 239), Padova, 1838; A. F. J. C. Mayer, " Spicilegium 
. . ." Bonnae, 1843; L. Calamai, "Osservazioni . . ." 1845; C. Robin, 
* "Recherches . . ." Paris, 1847; Kriinitz, "Abhandl.," XVII; Nicholson's 


Journal, Vol. I. p. 355 ; Rozier, IV. p. 205 ; " Acad. Brux.," in ; " Phil. 
Hist, and Mem. of the Roy. Acad. of Sc. Paris," 1742, Vol. V. pp. 58- 
73; John Ewing, at A.D. 1795; D,r. Godef. Will. Schilling (in original 
Latin, also the French translation), " Biblioth. Britannique," Vol. XL. 
pp. 263-272; Dr. Jan Ingen-housz in Phil. Tr. Vol. LXV. p. i; Vol. 
LXVIII. pp. 1022, 1027; Vol. LXIX. pp. 537, 661 ; also Hutton's abridg- 
ments, Vol. XIII. p. 575; Vol. XIV. pp. 462, 463, 589, 598; " Journal 
des Scavans," Vol. LXXVIII. for January-April, 1726, p. 58; "The 
System of Natural History, written by M. De. Buffon," Edinburgh, 
1800, Vol. II. pp. 24-25. 

M. R. A. F. De Reaumur, mentioned above, has communicated the 
results of his investigations relative to the torpedo in " Me"m. de Paris " 
for 1714, following it up more particularly with another article in the 
issue for year 1723 on magnetization, which is also alluded to in " Journal 
des Scavans," Vol. LXXXII. for 1727, p. 4. 

Silurus Electricus. Ranzi, on the discovery of the discharge of this 
animal; P. Forskal " Beobachtungen . . ." 1775; F. Pacini, " Sopra 
1' Organo . . ." Bologna, 1846; Abd-Allatif, Relation de 1'Egypte, 
p. 167, quoted at p. 250 ; Note XI. vol. i. of Libri's " Hist, des Math6m." ; 
C. Maspero, " The Dawn of Civilization, "New York, 1894, p. 36, wherein 
it is said that the silurus was the ndrd of the ancient Egyptians, as 
described by Isidore Geoff roy de St. Hilaire in his " Histoire Naturelle 
des Poissons du Nil." 

Gymnotus Electricus. T. Richer, " Observations . . ." Paris, 1679 
("Hist, et Mm. de 1'Acad. Roy. des Sciences," Vols. I. p. 116; VII. 
i. pt. 2, p. 92) ; " Edinburgh Review," Vol. XVI. pp. 249250 ; John Ewing 
at A.D. 1795 ; P. Sue, aine " Histoire du Galvanisme," Paris, An. X, 1802, 
Vol. II. pp. 94-97; A. Van Berkel, " Reise nach Rio . . ." Memming, 
1789, for the observations made in 1680-1689; J. B. Duhamel (" Hist. 
Acad. Sc.," 168); J. N. Allamand, "On the Surinam Eel ... by 
S'Gravesande," Haarlem, 1757; Gronov-Gronovius (" Acta Helveti- 
ca . . ." IV. 26, Basle, 1760; Phil. Trans., Vol. LXV. part i. p. 94, 
1 02, and part. ii. p. 395) ; P. V. Musschenbroek (" Hist, et Merns. de 
TAcad. des Sc.," 1760); G. W. Schilling, "Diatribe de Morbo . . ." 
1770, treating of the torpedo as well as of the magnetism of the Gym- 
notus (which latter was observed by him in 1764, and is alluded to 
besides by Jan Ingen-housz in his " Nouv. Expcr.," Paris, 1785) ; " Mem. 
of Berlin Acad. of Sc.," Bonnefoy, " De 1'app. de l'61ect . . ." 1782- 
1783, p. 48; Ferdinando Elice, " Saggio sull' Elettricita," p. 26; H. 
Williamson, Alexander Garden and John Hunter in the Phil. Trans. 
for 1775, p. 94, 102, 105, 395, and in Hutton's abridgments, Vol. XIII. 
pp. 597-600; R. M. de Tcrmeyer (" Opus. Scclti," IV. 324, for 1781); 
H. C. Flagg (" Trans. Amcr. Phil. Soc.," O. S., Vol. II. p. 170); Samuel 
Fahlberg, " Beskrifning ofver elektriska alen Gymnotus elcctricus," 
Stockholm, 1801 ; (See Fahlberg at A.D. 1769, and in " Vet Acad. Nyr. 
Handl."; Gilbert, Annalen, XIV. p. 416) ; Humboldt, " Observations . . . 
anguille elect . . ." Paris, 1806; " Versuche . . . elec. fische," Jena, 
1806; also in the Annales de Chimie et de Physique, Vol. XI for 1819, 
and at p. 256 of the " Harmonies of Nature," by Dr. G. Hartwig, London, 
1866, will be found a picture showing mode of capture of the Electric 
Eel; F. S. Guisan, " De Gymnoto . . ." Tubingen, 1819, Carl Palm- 
steclt (" Skand. Naturf. motets Forhand," 1842); H. Letheby ("Pro- 
ceedings London El. Soc.," Aug. 16, 1842, and June 17, 1843); M. 
Vanderlot's work, alluded to by Humboldt at p. 88 of his " Voyage 
. . ."; F. Steindachner, "Die Gymnotidie . . . Wien, 1868. 

Consult likewise, for reputed magnetic powers of the echeneis, or 
sucking-fish, Gaudentius Merula, " Memorabilium," 1556, p. 209; 
Fracastorio, " De Sympathia," lib. i, cap. 8; W. Charleton, " Phy- 
siologia," 1654, p. 375; Cornelius Gemma, " De Naturae Divinis," 1575, 
lib. i, cap. 7, p. 123; and, for electrical fishes generally, Rozier, 
Intr., II. p. 432; Bloch, " Naturgeschichte . . ." Berlin, 1786; A. De 


la Rive, " Traite" de I'61ectricit6," Paris, 1858, Vol. III. pp. 61-82; 
Rozier, Vol. XXVII. pp. 139-143; " Works of Michael de Montaigne," 
by W. Hazlitt, New York, 1872, Vol. II. pp. 158-159; R. J. Haiiy, 
" Trait6 de Physique," p. 41 ; Geoff roy Saint-Hilare (Journal de Phy- 
sique, JLVI. 242; Phil. Mag. XV. 126-136, 261; " B. Soc. Phil." N. 70; 
Gilbert, Annalen, XIV. 397; "Ann. du Mus." for 1803); M. Schultzc, 
" Zur Kentniss . . . elect . . . fische," Halle, 1858 and 1859; Jobert 
(dc Lamballe) " Des Appareils . . ." Paris, 1858; W. Kcferstein and 
L>. Kupffer (Henle u. Pfeuffer's " Zeitschr. f. rat. Med. Newe Fplgc," 
III. 1858) and Keferstein's " Beitrag . . . elekt. fische," Gottingen, 
1859; " Annual of Sc. Discovery " for 1863, giving, at pp. 115-116, the 
views of Sir John Herschel, of Charles Robin and of M. Moreau on the 
electrical organs of fishes. 

A.D. 1792. Berlinghieri (Francesco Vacca, and not Vacca 
Leopold nor Andrea Vacca), Italian surgeon and anatomical writer, 
communicates to M. De La Metherie the result of the extensive 
experiments made by him in concert with M. Pignotti and his 
brother. After describing his investigations with frogs, he remarks 
that the same movements and contractions can be produced on 
animals with hot blood, but that the latter require a peculiar 
process. He says that after having dissected the crural or any 
other considerable nerve, and cut it at a certain height to separate 
it from its superior part, it should have a piece of tinfoil wrapped 
around its summit, and the communication should be made in the 
usual way by touching the coating with one of the extremities of 
the exciting arc and the muscles in which the nerve is distributed 
with the other extremity. 

Many other investigations of Berlinghieri were, later on, com- 
municated to the Societe Philomathique, by whom they were suc- 
cessfully renewed, and, during the year 1810, a translation of his 
paper on the method of imparting magnetism to a bar of iron 
without a magnet appeared at p. 157, Vol. XXXV. of the Philo- 
sophical Magazine. 

REFERENCES. Rozier, XL. p. 133, and XLI. p. 314 ; " Giorn. di Med. 
Prac. di Brcra," IX. pp. 171-298; L. B. Phillips, "Diet, of Biog. Kef./ 1 
1871, p. 137; Tipaldo, "Biografia . . ." 1834. 

A.D. 1792. Lalande (Joseph Jerome le Francais de), a distin- 
guished scientist, and, doubtless, the best known of all French 
astronomers, who had previously communicated (1761) observations 
on the loadstone to the " Memoires de Paris," and had likewise 
written upon meteoric displays (1771), addresses to the Journal des 
Sgavans of Nov. 1792 a treatise entitled " Une Notice sur la de- 
couverte du Galvanisme," justifying his claim to being the first 
introducer of galvanism into France, which he had before made 
through the columns of the Journal de Paris of the 17 Pluviose, 
An. VII. 


REFERENCES. Lalande, " Abrege de 1' Astronomic," pp. 101, etc.; 
" Biog. G6n6rale," Vol. XXVIII. p. 948; " Biog. Universelle," Vol. 
XXII. pp. 603-613; Ninth " Enc. Britannica," Vol. XIV. p. 225; 
P. Sue, aind, "Hist, clu Galv.," Paris, An. X (1802), Vol. I. p. i. 

A.D. 1792. Chappe (Claude), a French mechanician (1763- 
1805), introduces the semaphore, which he at first called a tachygraphe, 
from two Greek words meaning to write fast, but to which M. Miot, 
chief of one of the divisions of the War Department, gave the name 
of telegraph during the year 1793. Chappe had not long before 
devised a contrivance somewhat like that alluded to by Barthelemy 
(A.D. 1788), but it was not apparently brought into use. 

His semaphore consisted of a vertical wooden pillar 15 feet or 
1 6 feet high, bearing a transverse beam n feet or 12 feet long, 
which turned upon its centre and held at each extremity pivoted 
arms so \vorked by cords or levers as to admit of 256 distinct 
signals. The semaphores were placed upon high towers, about four 
miles apart, on level ground, and even as much as ten miles apart 
upon intervening elevations. This system of signals was presented 
by Chappe to the Assemblee Legislative, and was originally erected 
during the month of August 1794 upon stations between Paris 
and Lille (Lisle), a distance of about 148 miles. One of the first 
sentences conveyed between the two places by the Committee of 
Public Safety consumed 13 minutes and 40 seconds, but it was not 
long before dispatches could be conveyed in two minutes' time, 
and it was through Chappe's apparatus that the news of the re- 
capture of the city of Conde* was conveyed to the Assembly shortly 
after the entry of the troops of the Republic. 

It is not now believed that Claude Chappe was acquainted with 
the devices of either Robert Hooke (at A.D. 1684) or of Guillaume 
Amontons (at A.D. 1704), as was at the time claimed by many of 
his jealous contemporaries. No doubt exists that he is justly en- 
titled to the credit of having, with the assistance of other members 
of his family, developed an entirely new system of signals as well 
as the mechanism by which they were operated. The histories of 
telegraphy written by I. U. J. Chappe (Paris, 1824 ; Le Mans, 1840) 
review Claude Chappe's investigations and the difficulties he en- 
countered, besides making reference to the false magnetic telegraphs 
of A. T. Paracelsus (A.D. 1490-1541), William Maxwell (A.D. 1679), 
and F. Santanelli (" Philosophise reconditse . . ." Coloniae, 1723) 
alluded to in the " Diet ion naire des Sciences Medicales." 

Claude Chappe's uncle, L'Abbe Jean Chappe d'Auteroche 
(1722-1769), French astronomer, who succeeded N. L. dc la Caille 
at the Paris Observatory as assistant to Cassini de Thury and 
edited a translation of the works of Dr. Halley, is the author of 
several memoirs upon the declination and inclination and upon 


lightning, meteors, etc., alluded to in J. B. J. Delambre's " Hist, 
de 1'Astron. au i8 e siecle," in J. C. Poggendorffs " Biog.-Liter. 
Hand./' Vol. I. p. 420, and in the " Me"m. de Paris," 1767, Mtm. 
P- 344- 

REFERENCES. English Encyl., '* Arts and Sciences," Vol. VIII. p. 
65; " Johnson's Encyl.," Vol. IV. p. 757; " Penny Ency.," Vol. XXIV. 

p. 146; Shaffner, " Manual," pp. 27, 45 and 48; " Le Cosmos," Paris, 
Feb. 4, 1905, p. 128; Nicholson's " Journ. of Nat. Phil.," Vol. VIII. 
p. 164, note; Sc. American Supplement, No. 475, p. 7579; " Emporium 

of Arts and Sciences," Vol. I. p. 292 ; Rozier, XXXIV. p. 370, and XL. 
p. 329; " Bull, dcs Sc. de la Societe" Philomathique," March 1793, No. 21, 
for an account of the experiments of Galvani and of Valli repeated for 
the Society by C. Chappe, M. Robillard and A. F. de Silvestre. 

A.D. 1792. Valli (Eusebius), Italian physician of Pisa, corre- 
sponding member of the Royal Academy of Sciences at Turin, pub- 
lishes his " Experiments on Animal Electricity," the results of 
which were communicated to the French Academy of Sciences and 
found to be of such great importance that a committee composed 
of Messrs. Le Roy, Vicq d'Azyr, Coulomb and Fourcroy, was 
directed to repeat them. The most important were repeated in 
Fourcroy *s laboratory on the I2th of July 1792. 

Valli was the first to demonstrate that when an arc of two 
metals, plumber's lead and silver, is employed upon an animal, 
the most violent contractions are produced while the lead is applied 
to the nerves and the silver to the muscles. He also showed that 
of all metals, zinc, when applied to the nerves, has the most remark- 
able power of exciting contractions ; and he found that when a 
frog had lost its sensibility to the passage of a current, it regained 
it by repose. 

These experiments were also repeated before the French Royal 
Society of Medicine. M. Mauduyt, who was present, deduced 
from the results obtained by Valli that the metals were charged 
with a different quantity of the electric fluid, in so much that when 
they were brought in contact with each other a discharge ensued. 
And, secondly, that the animal body, by which the electric fluid 
is rendered perceptible, is a more delicate electrometer than any one 
heretofore discovered. 

Many new and very interesting investigations were afterward 
made by Valli upon different animals, the results of which were 
given to the public through the columns of the Journal de Physique 
as shown below. These embrace thirteen experiments upon animals 
rendered insensible by means of opium and powdered tobacco, 
showing electricity to be independent of their vitality, as well as 
others to show that the electric fluid is necessary to man and animals. 
He fully established the identity of the nervous and the electric 


fluids, and proved that the convulsions took place by merely bring- 
ing the muscles themselves into contact with the nerves, without 
the intervention of any metal whatever. In answer to the inquiry 
of M. Vicq d'Azyr, member of the late French Academy of Sciences, 
he supported by nineteen experiments the assertion that however 
the blood vessels may be, as they assuredly are, conductors of 
electricity, the nerves alone prove capable of exciting muscular 
movements in consequence of the mode in which they are disposed. 

REFERENCES. Brugnatelli, Annali di Chimica, Vol. VII. pp. 40, 
213, 228 (and pp. 138, 159, 186, 208 for Caldani) ; also the " Giornalc 
Fis. Med. di Brugnatelli," Vol. I. p. 264; Sue, " Histoire du Galvanisme, " 
Paris, An. X-i8o2, Vol. I. p. 45; " Societ6 Philomathique," Vol. I. 
pp. 27, 31, 43; Journal de Physique, Vol. XLI. pp. 66, 72, 185, 189, 
193, 197, 200, 435; Vol. XLIl. pp. 74, 238, the last named containing 
the " Lettrc sur l'Electricit6 Animale " (" De animalis electricae theorize 
. . ." Mutinac, 1792) sent by Valli to MM. De La Metheric and Desgen- 
ettes; Report of MM. Chappe, Robillard and Silvcstre on Valli's and 
Galvani's experiments (" Soc. Phil." for March 1793, No. 21); Report 
of Messrs. Le Roy, Vicq d'Azyr and Coulomb in " Medecine eclairec 
par les Sciences Physiques," Tome IV. p. 66; " Epitome of Electricity 
and Magnetism," Philad., 1809, p. 133; " Vcrsuche . . . animal, elec- 
tricitat " of Karl Friedrich Kielmayer (Kielmaier) of the Tubingen 
University (Poggcndorff, Vol. 1. p. 1253; F. A. C. Gren, Journal der 
Physik, Vol. VIII for 1794); Flonano Caldani's works, 1792-1795, and 
those of Leopoldo Marc-Antonio Caldani, 1757-1823; Junoblowiskiana 
Society, 1793-1795- 

A.D. 1793. Fontana (Felice), distinguished Italian experimental 
philosopher and physiologist, gives in his " Lettere sopra T Elettri- 
cita Animale," the result of further extensive investigations carried 
on by him to ascertain more especially all the features of galvanic 
irritability and the peculiar actions of the several organs in cases 
of death by electricity. Some of his previous observations in the 
same line had already been made known through his " Di Moti 
dell' Iride," 1765, and " Richerche filosofiche," 1775, all which led 
to an active correspondence in after years with the Italian Giochino 
Carradori, as will be seen by consulting the volumes of Luigi 
Valentino Brugnatelli 's well-known " Giornale Fisico-Medico " 
(Cuvier, in " Biog. Univ.," Vol. XV. p. 8, par. 1816; "Giornale 
Fisico-Medico," Vol. IV. p. 116). 

Fontana (Gregorio), younger brother of Felice Fontana, likewise 
an able natural philosopher, succeeded the celebrated Ruggiero 
Giuseppe Boscovich in the Chair of Higher Mathematics at the 
University of Padua, and is the author of " Disquisitiones physico- 
mathematicae/' Papiae, 1780, as well as of many papers in the 
" Mem. della Soc. It. delle Scienze," wherein he gives detailed 
accounts of many very interesting electrical observations. Mention 
of Gregorio Fontana's name has already been made under Bennet, 
A.D. 1787. 


REFERENCES. Houzeau et Lancaster, " Bibl. Gen.," Vol. I. part i. 
p. 334, and, for R. G. Boscovich, " The Edinburgh Encyclopaedia," 
1830, Vol. III. pp. 744-749. 

A.D. 1793. Aldini (Giovanni), nephew of Luigi Galvani and 
one of the most active members of the National Institute of Italy, 
who succeeded his former instructor, M. Canterzani, in the Chair of 
Physics at the Bologna University, established in the last-named 
Institution a scientific society whose open object was to combat 
all of Volt a 's works and which became very hostile to the organ- 
ization already formed in the University of Pa via by Felice Fontana, 
Bassiano Carminati and Gioachino Carradori against the followers 
of Galvani. Similar societies espousing the cause of Volta were 
subsequently organized in England, at the suggestion of Cavallo 
and others, and during five years, the scientists of Europe were 
divided between the two discoverers, without, however, any material 
benefit accruing therefrom to either faction. 

Aldini proved to be an indefatigable investigator, as shown by 
the numerous Memoirs sent by him to the publications named below, 
up to the month of October 1802, when he experimented before 
the Galvani Society of Paris. An account of these experiments is 
given in his " Essai theorique," etc., where, among other results, 
attention is called to the curious fact that contractions can be 
excited in a prepared frog by holding it in the hand and plunging 
its nerves into the interior of a wound made in the muscle of a living 
animal (Figuier, " Exposition," etc., Vol. IV. p. 308). His interest- 
ing investigations of the artificial piles of muscle and brain, first 
made by M. La Grave and shown to the French Galvani Society, 
are alluded to in Nicholson's Journal, Vol. X. p. 30, in the Journal 
de Physique, An. XI. pp. 140, 159, 233, 472, and in Sturgeon's 
" Scientific Researches," Bury, 1850, p. 195. 

Nearly all of Aldini's experiments were successfully repeated in 
London at Mr. Wilson's Anatomical Theatre, where Mr. Cuthbertson 
assisted Prof. Aldini in arranging the apparatus, and where a 
student, by the name of Hutchins, furnished the anatomical prep- 
arations, but the demonstration, of all others, which attracted 
most attention was doubtless the one made in London on the I7th 
:>f January 1803. The murderer Forster had just been executed 
md, after his body lay for one hour exposed in the cold at Newgate, 
it was handed over to Mr. Koate, President of the London College 
)f Surgeons, who, with Aldini, made upon it numerous important 
)bservations to ascertain the precise effects of galvanism with a 
/oltaic column of one hundred and twenty copper and zinc couples. 
The extraordinary results obtained, which cannot properly be enu- 
nerated here, are to be found in the " Essai Theorique," etc., 


already alluded to. They led Aldini to believe he could, by the 
galvanic agency, bring back those in whom life was not totally 
extinct, such as in cases of the recently drowned or asphyxiated. 
(Consult M. Bonnejoy's method of proving death by ... Farad- 
ization, Paris, 1866, and Georgio Anselmo, " Effets du Galvanisme 
. . ." Turin, 1803; S. T. Sommering, "On the application of 
Galvanism to ascertain the reality of death," Ludwig scripter 
nevrolog., III. 23; Ure, " Exper. on the body of a criminal . . ." 
"Journal of Sc. and Arts'/' No. XII; Phil. Mag., Vol. LIII. p. 56; 
Jean Janin de Combe Blanche, " Sur les causes/' etc., Paris, 1773 
(hanging) ; C. W. Hufeland, 1783, for the app. of Elec. in cases of 
asphyxia ; T. Kerner, for the app. of Galv. and Magn. as restoratives, 
Cannstadt, 1858; Win. Henley, for electricity as a stimulant . . . 
drowned or ... suffocated, " Trans, of the Humane Society," 
Vol. I. p. 63.) 

Another of Aldini 's curious experiments was the production of 
very powerful muscular contractions upon the heads of oxen and 
other animals recently decapitated, by introducing into one of the 
ears a wire connecting with one of the battery poles and into the 
nostrils or tongue a wire communicating with the other pole. Thus 
were the eyes made repeatedly to open and roll in their orbits 
while the ears would shake, the tongue move and the nostrils 
dilate very perceptibly (De la Rive, " A Treatise on Electricity," 
1856, Vol. II. p. 489, and 1858, Vol. III. p. 588; Pepper, " Voltaic 
Electricity," 1869, pp. 287, 288). In the experiments which Aldini 
made during 1804 upon corpses, the body became violently agitated 
and even raised itself as if about to walk, the arms alternately rose 
and fell and the forearm was made to hold a weight of several 
pounds, while the fists clenched and beat violently the table upon 
which the body lay. Natural respiration was also artificially re- 
established and, through pressure exerted against the ribs, a lighted 
candle placed before the mouth was several times extinguished. 

tor the experiments of the eminent French physiologist and 
anatomist Marie Francois Xavier Bichat, of Vassalli-Eandi, Giulio, 
Rossi, Nysten, Halle, Mezzini, Klein, Bonnet, Pajot-Laforest, 
Dudoyon, Berlinghieri, Font ana, Petit-Radel, Alizeau, Lamartilliere, 
Guillotin, Nauche and others upon animals and men recently 
decapitated, see Bichat 's " Recherches Physiologiques sur la vie et 
la mort," Paris, 1805 ; Francesco Rossi's " Rapport des experiences/' 
etc., Turin, 1803; P. H. Nysten's " Nouvelles Experiences Gal- 
vaniques," etc., Paris, 1811, and also the latter 's " Experiences 
faites . . . le 14 Brumaire, An. XI." (Consult likewise, J. R. P. 
Bardenot, " Les Recherches . . . refuses," Paris, 1824, and, for 
an account of Bichat consult F. R. Buisson, " Precis historique . . /' 


Paris, 1802 ; Larousse, Vol. II. pp. 703, 704 ; " Biog. Univ./' Vol. 
XL pp. 2-19.) 

In Aldini's "Account of Galvanism," printed for Cuthell and 
Martin, London, 1803, it is said (p. 218) that, on the 27th of Feb- 
ruary 1803, h e transmitted current through a battery of eighty 
silver and zinc plates from the West Mole of Calais harbour to Fort 
Rouge, by means of a wire supported on the masts of boats, and 
made it return through two hundred feet of intervening water. 

REFERENCES. J. B. Van Mons' treatise on animal electricity in 
Tome III of the sixth year of the " Magasin Encyclop6dique " ; Fowler, 
in " Bibl. Britannica," May 1796; Giulio e Rossi (" Gior. Fis. Mcd- di 
Brugnatelli," 1793, Vol.. I. p. 82); P. Sue, ain6, " Hist, du Gal vanisme," 
Paris, An. X, 1802, Vol. I. pp. 31, 67, 73; Vol. II. p. 268; Brugnatelli, 
Annali di Chimica, Vols. XIII. p. 135; XIV. p. 174; XIX. pp. 29, 158; 
" Opuscoli Scelti," Vols. XVII. p. 231 ; XIX. p. 217; XX. p. 73; XXI. 
p. 41 2; " Mem. Soc. Ital.," Vol. XIV. p. 239; Poggendorff, Vol. I. p. 27; 
"Bibl. Britan.," Vol. XXII. 1803, pp. 249-266; " Galvanische und 
elcktrische . . . Korpern," 4to, Frankfort, 1804; " Bull, des Sc. de la 
Soc. Philoin.," No. 68; J. C. Carpue, "Bibl. Britannica," Nos. 207, 
208, p. 373 ; Phil. Mag., Vols. XIV. pp. 88, 191, 288, 364 ; XV. pp. 40, 93 ; 
Cassius Larcher, M. Daubancourt et M. Zanetti, aine (Ann, de Chimie, 
Vol. XLV. p. 195) ; also Larcher, Daubancourt et M. de Saintiot (Precis 
succinct, etc., Paris, 1803); W. Sturgeon, " Scientific Researches," Bury, 
1850, p. 194 : M. Kilian, " Versuche iibcr restitution . . ." Giessen, 
1857; Gilbert, IV. 246; J. Tourdes ("Decade Philos." No. 3, An. X. 
p. 118); Francesco Rossi ("Bibl. Ital.," Vol. I. p. 106; Phil. Mag., 
Vol. XVIII. p. 131; and in the " Memoires de Turin"); J. J. Sue, 
" Recherches Physiol.," etc., 1803, p. 77; Vassalli-Eandi (" Exp6riences 
sur les decapit6s . . ." Turin, 1802 and " Recueil . . . de S6dillot," 
Vol. II. p. 266) ; C. H. Wilkinson, " Elements of Galvanism, "etc., London, 
1804, 2 Vols. passim; Report of MM. Chappe, Robillard and Silvestre 
(" Bull, des Sciences de la Soc. Philom.," No. 21 for March 1793; also 
Jour. dePhys., Vol. XLII. p. 289) ; M. Paysse(" Jour. Pharm.," 
first year, p. 100) ; Dr. Crichton (" Rec. Period, dc Litt. Med. Etrangdre," 
Tome II. p. 342); J. Louis Gauthier, " Dissertatio," etc., Hales, 1793 
(" Com. de Leipzig," Tome XXXVI. p. 473) ; Gardiner's " Observ. on the 
animal ceconomy " ; Humboldt (" Soc. Philom.," Vol. I. p. 92); Alex. 
Monro's " Experiments," etc., Edin., 1793, 1794 (" Trans. Edin. 
Roy. Soc.," Vol. Ill); Felice Fontana, " Lettere . . ." 1793; Joseph 
Izarn, " Manuel du Galvanisme," Paris, An. XII, 1804, pp. 97, 138, 141, 
160, 163, 285 ; Louis Figuier, " Exposition et Histoire," Vol. IV. 
pp. 307-308, 358, 360-363, 365, 366, 370, 371. 

A.D. 1793. Fowler (Richard), a very ingenious physician, of 
Salisbury, makes known in Edinburgh his " Experiments and 
Observations relative to the influence lately discovered by Galvani 
and commonly called Animal Electricity," of which a very complete 
review is made by Dr. G. Gregory at pp. 374-381, Vol. I of his 
" Economy of Nature," etc., third edition, published in London 
during the year 1804. 

Dr. Fowler observed that the contractions in a frog are excited 
by making the metals touch under water even at the distance of 
an inch from the divided spine of the animal. He succeeded in 
causing the heart to contract, but could not produce the same 


effect upon the stomach and intestines. He also found, as did 
Prof. John Robison, of Edinburgh, at the same period, that the 
senses of touch and smell are unaffected by the metals, but that 
when these are applied to the eye, or, what is better, when they 
are thrust up between the teeth and the lips, and then made to 
touch, a flash of light is rendered visible. This is the case also 
when the metals are placed between the gums and the upper and 
lower lips, as proven by the experiments of Dr. Rutherford and of 
Mr. George Hunter, of York. Fowler likewise observed that all 
pure metals prove excellent conductors of the galvanic influence 
and that living vegetables afford it a ready passage, but that stones 
and oils seem to be possessed of no conducting power whatsoever. 

In conjunction with Mr. Alexander Munro, Fowler published 
a work on animal electricity (translated into German under the 
title of " Abhandlung ueber thierische elekt.," etc.), while, in the 
" Bibliotheca Britannica " for May 1796, mention will be found of 
the observations of Dr. Fowler respecting the muscular irritability 
excited by electricity, as well as on the reproduction of the nervous 
substance, on the action of poisons, on the phenomena of muscular 
contraction, etc. etc. 

REFERENCES. " Essays and Observations," etc., Edinburgh, 1793, 
in Library of the Royal Institution ; Gilbert Blane's paper read to the 
English Royal Society, of which an extract can be found in Bacher's 
"Medical Journal," Vol. XC. p. 127; Figuier, " Exp. et Hist, des 
Princip. Dec.," Vol. IV. p. 309; C. H. Wilkinson, " Elements of Gal- 
vanism," London, 1804, Chap. VI. et passim ; eighth " Encyc. Brit.," 
Vol. XXI. p. 634. 

A.D. 1793. Dalton (John), LL.D., F.R.S. (1766-1844), a very 
able English natural philosopher and the illustrious author of the 
" Atomic Theory of Chemistry and of the Constitution of Mixed 
Gases," gives in his earliest separate publication, " Meteorological 
Observations and Essays," the result of many experiments upon 
the electricity of the atmosphere, made by him at Kendal and at 
Keswick during the seven years ending May 1793. 

He proved, as Sir David Brewster expresses it, that the aurora 
exercises an irregular action on the magnetic needle, that the 
luminous beams of the aurora borealis are parallel to the dipping 
needle; that the rainbow-like arches cross the magnetic meridian 
at right angles ; that the broad arch of the horizontal light is bisected 
by the magnetic meridian; and that the boundary of a limited 
aurora is half the circumference of a great circle crossing the mag- 
netic meridian at right angles, the beams perpendicular to the 
horizon being only those on the magnetic meridian. 

In the eighth " Encyclopaedia Britannica " (Vol. IV. p. 246), 
treating of the height of polar lights, reference is made to the 


extraordinary aurora borealis observed by Dalton on the sgth of 
March 1826, and of which a description is given in a paper read 
before the Royal Society, April 17, 1828 (Phil. Mag. or Annals, 
Vol. IV. p. 418; Philosophical Transactions for 1828, Part II; 
James Hoy in Phil. Mag., Vol. LI. p. 423; J. Farquharson in Phil. 
Trans, for 1839, p. 267). This aurora was seen in places one hundred 
and seventy miles apart and covered an area of 7000 to 8000 square 
miles. In Vol. XIV of the same Encyclopaedia will be found 
(p. 15), an account of another aurora observed at Kendal, February 
12, 1793, while at p. 12 are given Dalton's views as to the connection 
between the heat and magnetism of the earth, and, at p. 66, his 
conclusions as to the cause of the aurora and its magnetic influence. 

REFERENCES. " Memoirs of Dalton's Life," by Dr. W. C. Henry, 
London, 1854; " Life and Discoveries of Dalton," in British Quarterly 
Review, No. i ; Pharmaceutical Journal, London, October 1841 ; Thom- 
son's " History of Chemistry," Vol. II; Young's " Course of Lectures," 
London, 1807, Vol. I. pp. 706-709, 753, and Vol. II. pp. 466-470; Noad, 
"Manual," etc., London, 1859, pp. 226, 269, 534; article, "Aurora 
Borealis," immediately following A.D. 1683; Sir H. Davy, " Bakerian 
Lectu res," London, 1840, pp. 322, 323, 328-330; " Diet, of Nat. Biog.," 
Vol. XIII. pp. 428-434, as well as the numerous references therein cited. 
Consult also, for theories, investigations, observations, records, etc., 
of the Aurora Borealis: Georg. Kruger, 1700; J. J. Scheuchzer, 1710- 
1712, 1728-1730; L. Fcuillec, 1719; J. L. Rost, 1721; J. C. Spidberg, 
1724; W. Derham, 1728, 1729-1730; F. C. Mayer Meyer, 1726; J. F. 
Weidlcr, 1729, 1730, 1735 ; J. Lulolfs, 1731 ; M. Kelsch, 1734 ; F.M. Zanotli, 
1737, 1738; also Zanotti and P. Matteucci, 1739; B. Zendrini, J. Poleni, 
F. M. Scrra, E. Sguario and D. Revillas in 1738; G. Bianchi, 1738 and 
1740; J. M. Serantoni, 1740; G. C. Cilano de Maternus, 1743; S. von 
Trienwald, 1744; G. Guadagni, 1744; J. F. Ramus, 1745; C. Nocetus, 
1747; P. Matteucci, 1747; Jno. Huxham, 1749-1750; G. W. Krafft, 
1750; P. Kahm Kalm, 1752; G. Reyger, 1756; A. Hellant, 1756, 1777; 
Jos. Stepling, 1761; H. Hamilton, 1767, 1777; M. A. Pictet, 1769; 
J. E. Silberschlag, 1770; C. E. Mirus, 1770; J. E. B. Wiedcburg, 1771; 
Max. Hell, 1776; Mr. Hall, J. H. Helmuth, 1777; E. H. de Ratte, W..L. 
Krafft, 1778; J. E. Helfenzrieder, 1778; G. S. Poli, 1778-1779; Mar- 
corelle and Darguier, 1782; L. Cottc, 1783; J. A. Cramer, 1785; D. 
Galizi, in A. Calogera's "Nuova Raccolta . . ." Vol. XXXIX. p. 64; 
J. L. Boeckmann, in " Mem. de Berlin " for the year 1780; H. Ussher, 
1788; G. Savioli, 1789, 1790; J. J. Hemmer, 1790; P. A. Bondoli, 1790, 
1792, 1802; A. Prieto, 1794; J. D. Reuss's works published in Got- 
tingen; Jacppo Penada, 1807-1808; M. Le Prince, Nouvelle The'orie 
. . ."; W. Dobbie, 1820, 1823; Col. Gustavson, in Phil. Mag. for 1821, 
p. 312; M. Dutertre, 1822; J. L. Spath, 1822; Chr. Hansteen, 1827, 
1855; L. F. Kaemtz, 1828, 1831; G. W. Muncke, 1828; J. Farquharson, 
1829; D. Angelstrom, Rob. Hare, 1836; Ant. Colla, 1836, 1837; L. 
Pacinotti, 1837; G. F. Parrot, 1838; J. H. Lefroy, 1850, 1852; Don 
M. Rico-y-Sinobas, 1853; A. A. de La Rive, 1854; A. Boue (Katalog), 
1856, 1857; C. J. H. E. Braun, 1858; E. Matzenauer, 1861 ; F. Dobelli, 
1867; F. Denza, 1869. 

A.D. 1793-1797. Robison (John), a very distinguished English 
natural philosopher, completes what are without question the most 
important of all his scientific publications. These are to be found 


throughout the eighteen volumes and two supplements to the third 
" Encyclopaedia Britannica," where they cover such subjects as 
Physics, Electricity, Magnetism, Thunder, Variation, etc. etc. 
Taken together, " they exhibited/' according to Dr. Thomas Young, 
" a more complete view of the modern improvements of physical 
science than had previously been in the possession of the British 

It was after his retirement from the navy that Ro bison devoted 
himself to scientific studies, becoming the successor of Dr. Black 
in the lectureship of chemistry at the University of Glasgow during 
1766, and accepting, seven years later (1773), the Professorship of 
Natural Philosophy at Edinburgh, where he taught all branches of 
physics and of the higher mathematics. In 1783 he was made 
Secretary of the Philosophical Society of Edinburgh, received the 
degree of Doctor of Laws, 1798-1799, and was elected foreign 
member of the Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences in 1800. 
Of him, Mr. James Watt wrote, Feb. 7, 1805 : " He was a man of 
the clearest head and the most science of anybody I have known " 
(Arago's " Eloge of Jas. Watt/' London, 1839, p. 81). 

It was while acting as midshipman under Admiral Saunders 
that Robison himself observed the effect of the aurora borealis on 
the compass, which had been remarked by Hiorter, Wargentin, and 
Mairan several years before, but which was not then generally 
known. The aurora borealis, he afterwards wrote, " is observed 
in Europe to disturb the needle exceedingly, sometimes drawing 
it several degrees from its position. It is always observed to 
increase its rate of deviation from the meridian ; that is an aurora 
borealis makes the needle point more westerly. This disturbance 
sometimes amounts to six or seven degrees, and is generally ob- 
served to be greatest when the aurora borealis is most remarkable. 
. . . Van Swinden says he seldom or never failed to observe aurora 
boreales immediately after any anomalous motion of the needle, 
and concluded that there had been one at the time, though he 
could not see it. ... This should farther incite us to observe the 
circumstance formerly mentioned, viz., that the South end of the 
dipping needle points to that part of the heavens where the rays 
of the aurora borealis appear to converge. . . ." 

The experiments of J. H. Lambert (at A.D. 1766-1776) upon the 
laws of magnetic action were carefully repeated by Robison, who, 
in 1769 or 1770, tried various methods and made numerous investi- 
gations from which he deduced that the force is inversely as the 
square of the distance. When he observed, however, some years 
afterward, that ^Epinus had in 1777 conceived the force to vary 
inversely as the simple distance, he carefully again repeated the 


experiments and added others made with the same magnet and 
with the same needle placed at one side of the magnet instead of 
above it. By this simple arrangement the result was still more 
satisfactory, and the inverse law of the square of the distance was 
well established. 

Throughout his numerous investigations, Prof. Ro bison found 
that when a good magnet was struck for three-quarters of an hour, 
and allowed in the meantime to ring, its efficacy was destroyed,